Stefanos Tsitsipas beat unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Sunday to become the first repeat champion at the Monte Carlo Masters since Rafael Nadal in 2018.
After winning the first major final of the clay-court season, the third-seeded Greek commented, “It’s a terrific feeling since we had the fans this year.” “It was a little more lively this year than last.”
The Spaniard Davidovich Fokina, who beat Novak Djokovic in the second round, was in his first ATP final.
Despite dropping an early break, Tsitsipas won the first set. In the second round, Davidovic Fokina survived an early break and broke twice.
Tsitsipas missed a chance to serve out the match at 5-4, but he still won in 1 hour and 34 minutes.
Tsitsipas stated, “I am quite proud of myself.” “At one point, things weren’t going well, but I managed to keep my cool.”
Tsitsipas, who is 23 years old, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in January.
Many people were astonished to learn who his last opponent will be on Sunday.
“I must confess that he was not the Spaniard I expected in the final,” tournament director Zeljko Franulovic said, noting that 11-time winner Rafael Nadal was unable to compete in Monte Carlo due to a rib ailment.
Davidovich Fokina defeated Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals and Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals, in addition to Djokovic.
The event was a “wonderful experience,” the 22-year-old Spaniard remarked.
It had boosted Davidovich Fokina’s confidence for the rest of the season, he claimed.
“I don’t know if I’ll win another match,” Davidovich Fokina said, “but I’ll be focused on every point, every game.”
After the coronavirus halted the 2020 edition and forced the 2021 tournament to be held without spectators, Tsitsipas was overjoyed by the boisterous crowd.
“Having people involved is definitely more nerve-wracking because you have fans yelling and chanting, but it was a terrific way to finish it off with lots of battling in the end,” Tsitsipas said. “He fought at times when I didn’t expect him to.”