Fritz Defeats Two-Time Champion Tsitsipas
Taylor Fritz earned his first Top 10 clay-court win on Friday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he overcame defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals in the Principality for the first time.
The second seed Tsitsipas entered the clash on a 12-match winning streak in Monte-Carlo, having triumphed at the ATP Masters 1000 event in 2021 and 2022. However, he was unable to find his best level against Fritz, who forced the Greek into 18 unforced errors with his weight and depth of shot to advance after 70 minutes.
"I thought my level today was very high. I think I played a very good match. Beating him here gives me a lot of confidence," Fritz said. "It has given me the reassurance I need to know I can play well on clay.
"I seemed to play well on the big points. I took my chances. I knew that if I played too safe he would be able to get around and dictate on the forehand. So even in the pressure moments I pulled the trigger."
Fritz struck 17 winners and was dominant on his second serve, winning 70 per cent (14/20) of points behind his second delivery to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.
"He is a great player and a good friend and I am excited for the match," Fritz said when asked about Rublev. "He is tough."
Fritz, who defeated Stan Wawrinka and Jiri Lehecka earlier this week, is chasing his second ATP Masters 1000 crown, having lifted the trophy in Indian Wells last year. The World No. 10 holds a 23-6 record on the year, highlighted by his run to the title in Delray Beach.
Tsitsipas was aiming to complete a three-peat in the Principality after title runs in 2021 and 2022. The 24-year-old will drop two spots to No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday following his fifth defeat of the season.