Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Monte-Carlo Masters champion in consecutive years since Rafael Nadal in 2018 by beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-6 (3) yesterday.
“It’s a great feeling because we had the fans this year,” said the third-seeded Greek after winning his first major clay-court Final this season. “He was more alive than last year.”
Davidovich Fokina, the Spaniard who eliminated Novak Djokovic in the second round, played his first ATP Final.
Tsitsipas took the first set despite conceding a break early on. Davidovich Fokina overcame a break early in the second set and broke it twice.
Tsitsipas squandered a chance to serve out the match when he was up 5-4, but still finished the Final in one hour and 34 minutes.
“I am very proud of myself,” Tsitsipas said. “Things weren’t right at some point, but I managed to keep my composure.”
Tsitsipas, 26, reached the Australian Open semifinals in January.
The identity of his rival yesterday surprised many.
“I have to confess that he was not the Spaniard I expected in the Final,” said Zeljko Franulovic, tournament director, because Rafael Nadal did not play in Monte Carlo due to a rib injury.
In addition to eliminating Djokovic, Davidovich Fokina also beat the champion of Indian Wells taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals already Grigor Dimitrov in the semi final.
“It was an incredible experience,” the 22-year-old Spaniard said of the tournament.
Davidovich Fokina assured that the experience increased his confidence for the rest of the season.