Tsitsipas Contains Karatsev In Monte-Carlo

Greek reaches third round for second edition in a row

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas aced a tricky opening test at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Aslan Karatsev on Tuesday.

One break of serve in each set made the difference for the Greek  on Court Rainier III as he faced the Dubai titlist for the first time. Tsitsipas fired nine winners over an hour and 24 minutes as he claimed the first spot into the third round.

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“I knew I had to face a difficult opponent today,” Tsitsipas said in his post-match interview. “Aslan has [had some] great results this year… I managed to push him back and attack with my forehand. Things worked out pretty well for me. 

"My clay court experience helps a lot to come back each year stronger, knowing that I have done better before. It was a very beautiful game out there and I enjoyed it.”

With the victory, the Greek improved to 18-5 on the season, having reached the quarter-finals or better at all five of his previous tournaments including a run to the championship match in Acapulco. Tsitsipas advanced to the third round in Monte Carlo for the second edition in a row, equalling his best result at the clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I’m putting [in] hours on the court, trying to become consistent [and] get close to the legends of our sport," said Tsitsipas. "I am working every single day. I am very far from that, but it is definitely a dream of mine that I want to achieve one day.”

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Tsitsipas awaits the winner of John Millman and 16th seed Cristian Garin for a spot in the quarter-finals. Garin defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in a rain-interrupted 7-6(3), 6-1 first-round clash, while the Aussie advanced after a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ugo Humbert.

Also in action, Norwegian Casper Ruud won a Scandinavian showdown against Danish wild card Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune 6-2, 6-1, en route to the second round. Ruud will face seventh seed Diego Schwartzman next. The Argentine leads their ATP Head2Head record 4-0.

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta needed two hours and five minutes to take down Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia 7-5, 7-6(4). The 12th seed, who lifted the trophy in Marbella just two days ago, had to save three set points to claim the opening set but he found strong first serves to keep him in the contest. Carreno Busta will face former World No. 8 Karen Khachanov next, after the Russian cruised past Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-1.