Pressure? Not For Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to keep his emotions in check on Sunday as he bids to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 crown against Andrey Rublev in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final.
Having lost to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, respectively, in his two previous Masters 1000 final at the 2018 National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto and the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open, the Greek star insists he isn’t under extra pressure.
“It’s not so much about that,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s more how much I really want it. That doesn’t necessarily add pressure to me. It’s just pure determination, willingness to go over the top to get what I want. I don’t like to think as it of pressure.”
Tsitsipas, who lifted the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals trophy, has a 3-3 record in his ATP Head2Head series against Rublev, who has compiled an ATP Tour-best 24-4 match record on the 2021 season. They are tied 1-1 in clay-court clashes.
“I’m feeling good,” said Tsitsipas, who will attempt to secure his sixth ATP Tour crown after beating Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday. “I’m feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me.
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“I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is I would say a big plus. I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy… I’m really focused for tomorrow.”
“Obviously, it is important to elevate my game and try and push it to the limits. I really, really want to be in that position where I come close to winning big tournaments like this. It’s a dream of mine to be playing in the final, honestly.”
The 22-year-old Tsitsipas will be appearing in his second final of 2021, following a 6-4, 7-6(3) loss to Alexander Zverev at last month’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC final in Acapulco. He has a 21-5 match record on the season.
Should he capture the Monte-Carlo crown, Tsitsipas will also move into first spot in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, for one of eight places at the Nitto ATP Finals in November.