With Turin In Mind, Tsitsipas Ready For Clay Swing
Ahead of his third appearance at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas discussed the importance of success during the clay swing to achieve one of his main 2021 goals: Nitto ATP Finals qualification.
The World No. 5 will make his first clay-court appearance in Monte-Carlo since his run to last year’s Roland Garros semi-finals. Tsitsipas has achieved regular success on the surface in recent years, with at least one final appearance on the red dirt in each of the past three ATP Tour seasons (2018-’20).
If the Greek can replicate that form in the Principality, and throughout the remainder of the clay season, he will increase his chances of sealing a spot at the season finale in Turin.
“I'm fighting for the [FedEx ATP] Race to Turin,” said Tsitsipas. “I'm trying to make as many points as possible… It is important for me to be playing a lot of tournaments prior to Roland Garros. Clay is a surface that I love to play and explore my game [on].”
Tsitsipas, currently in fourth place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, is happy with the transition he has made from the hard courts to clay. The 22-year-old has been focussed on his physical fitness ahead of his first match of the year on the surface.
“I've practised a lot of days on clay. I've been feeling well. My body is in good shape,” said Tsitsipas. “Currently I feel like I'm working a lot on my physicality when I play friendly matches on clay. I think that's going to be the most important aspect in my game during the clay court season."
Tsitsipas will be tested from his first match at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The fourth seed will meet the winner of one of the standout matches of the first round between #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti and Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev.
When asked to predict who he will face in the second round, Tsitsipas backed Musetti, the youngest player in the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. During this week’s Sardegna Open, the 19-year-old defeated top seed Daniel Evans en route to the quarter-finals.
“I would go for Lorenzo Musetti. He has played plenty of matches on clay,” said Tsitsipas. “I think he's getting in shape match by match.”