Final Preview: Tsitsipas Seeks Title Defence vs. Davidovich Fokina
One man stands between Stefanos Tsitsipas and back-to-back Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters titles on Sunday. The unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, playing in his first ATP Tour final, has already beaten World No. 1 Novak Djokovic this week in Monaco. One more upset could surpass that as the biggest win of the 22-year-old’s career.
In the doubles final, two longtime pairings and 2021 Nitto ATP Finals competitors will seek their first title of the 2022 season as top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury face sixth-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
After coming from behind to win a late-night classic against Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals, Tsitsipas recovered quickly to dominate Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis. That efficient result should leave him in good stead for the last leg of his title defence.
“It’s going to take a little bit more,” said Tsitsipas, looking ahead to his third ATP Head2Head meeting with Davidovich Fokina. “He’s on a good run, in a good rhythm. I’ve played him before, he’s a good opponent, I’ve had big battles against him and I’m going to try and be as ready as possible.
“I know he’s improved from before and I’m going to have that in the back of my head, to produce the best tennis that I can.”
Tsitsipas and Davidovich Fokina met one year ago in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals, with the Spaniard retiring after dropping a 7-5 opening set. Their second meeting came in February, when Tsitsipas scored a 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-4 win in Rotterdam.
‘Foki’ is the first unseeded Monte Carlo finalist since Dusan Lajovic in 2019. He advanced to his first ATP Tour final in his fourth semi-final attempt, battling past Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-7(2), 6- 3.
“I am so, so happy to be in the final. It is a dream come true,” Davidovich Fokina said following his semi-final win. “When I was a kid I was dreaming about this day.”
After describing the hard work he and his team have put in since preseason in December, he later added: “Now I am in the final, I will enjoy it and try my best.”
The Spaniard has already knocked off three ATP Masters 1000 champions on the way to the final: Djokovic, Taylor Fritz and Dimitrov. If he can take out a fourth, he will achieve the rare feat of winning his first tour-level title at that elite level.
 Rajeev Ram (USA) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) vs.  Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL)
In a doubles final well-serving of center stage on Court Rainier III, two multiple Grand Slam-winning teams seek their best result of the 2022 season.
These teams have met five times before, with four of those matches requiring either a Match Tie-break or a third-set tie-break. Ram and Salisbury, who lead the ATP Head2Head series 4-1, took all four of those tie-breaks, including three in 2021 (Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Nitto ATP Finals).
But Cabal and Farah won the only final contested between the teams, scoring a straight-sets win to take the 2021 Vienna title.
Both teams have dropped just one set en route to the championship match, setting up for a grand finale on Sunday.
SCHEDULE – Sunday, April 17
COURT RAINIER III start 11:30 am
 R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs.  J. Sebastian Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
Not Before 2:30 pm
 S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP)