Defending champion Tsitsipas to face Davidovich Fokina in Monte Carlo final

By: AFP
Published: 11:20 PM, 16 Apr, 2022
Defending champion Tsitsipas to face Davidovich Fokina in Monte Carlo final
Caption: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning his semi-final Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament tennis match against Germany's Alexander Zverev in Monaco.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas brushed aside Alexander Zverev on Saturday to set up a Monte Carlo Masters final against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the conqueror of world number one Novak Djokovic.

Greek world number five Tsitsipas beat third-ranked Zverev 6-4, 6-2, showing no ill effects of a marathon quarter-final win over Diego Schwartzman which finished at 11:00pm Friday.

"It was hard to resume today after a difficult match last night" said 23-year-old Tsitsipas

"My body was not at 100%, but I am very happy with the tennis I produced." 

He appeared fresher than Olympic champion Zverev who had also drawn deep on his reserves on Friday to beat Jannik Sinner in a 3hr 07min quarter-final.

Zverev was the more under-powered of the two on Saturday.

Tsitsipas broke in the ninth game of the opener before reeling off four games in a row from 2-2 in the second set. The contest was over inside 75 minutes.

Davidovich Fokina, ranked at 46, reached his first career ATP final with a 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 win over Grigor Dimitrov.

"It was a difficult match. I had my chances in the second set, but Grigor played well and I was tired," said the 22-year-old Spaniard, who knocked out Djokovic on Tuesday.

"I kept fighting, I wanted to see where my limits were." 

Bathroom talk 

It was a roller-coaster afternoon for Davidovich Fokina who was a set and then 4-2 and 5-3 ahead in the second.

But he won just three of the next 12 points with two double faults as Dimitrov hit back.

The Spaniard then trailed 2-0 in the decider before racking up five straight games for 5-2. An ace on a second match point gave him victory.

"When I was a kid I was dreaming about this day," said Davidovich Fokina who had also beat Indian Wells Masters champion Taylor Fritz on his way to the final.

"The second set I had my chances, but I didn't play very well. I was so tight and he just put the ball in. The tie-break was also tight. But I went to the bathroom and said that I want this win."

Davidovich Fokina, who reached the last eight in Monte Carlo in 2021, will be aiming to win his first tour-level title on Sunday.

However, Tsitsipas, the 2021 French Open runner-up, will be favourite, owning a 2-0 career edge over the Spaniard.

The first of those wins came in Monte Carlo last year when Davidovich Fokina had to retire from their quarter-final clash.

Dimitrov, 30, was playing in his second semi-final in Monte Carlo, having enjoyed a run to the last four in 2018. 

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.