• Tournament
  • Scores
  • Media
  • Tickets
  • Hospitality
  • Practical information
  • Animations
  • JOBS

Preview: Tsitsipas, Ruud seek statement win in Monte-Carlo final


After upset wins against the top two men in the PIF ATP Rankings, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud bid to sign off at Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with another signature victory in Sunday’s final.

Tsitsipas stopped the winning streak of reigning Miami champion Jannik Sinner in Saturday’s semis before Ruud defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the first time, with both underdogs prevailing in three sets. Both players have historically found their best tennis on clay courts and now seek a statement win on that surface.

Tsitsipas is playing for his biggest title since back-to-back triumphs at his home club in Monte-Carlo (2021-22). He slipped out of the Top 10 in the PIF ATP Rankings earlier this season, but will rejoin to that elite group behind his Monaco run. Already assured of a rise to World No. 9, he could move to No. 7 with the title.

The Greek is prepared to suffer for glory on Sunday against Ruud, whose heavy spin and ability to open up the court present a unique set of problems on the clay.

“I think the conditions make the battle,” Tsitsipas said, also referencing the Monte-Carlo heat. “There is pleasure in the battle, because playing in Europe under these conditions feels like home. I grew up playing as a young kid in similar conditions, so grinding and playing for hours and hours out there brings me a little bit of my childhood memories on the tennis courts in Greece.”

Ruud, up four places to No. 6 this week in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, is seeking the biggest title of his career and his first since Estoril in 2023. He will bid to break a four-match losing streak in tour-level finals, including a defeat to Djokovic in last year’s Roland Garros title round. The Norwegian also reached the championship match at Nitto ATP Finals last season, and finished runner-up at both Roland Garros and US Open in 2022.

Nine of Ruud’s 10 tour-level titles — all at the ATP 250 level — have come on clay. But as strong as he is on the surface, he is wary of what his opponent can do on the dirt.

“Stefanos is a fantastic player on all surfaces, but clay, I think he has had more success in his career so far. He won here two times, so obviously he’s feeling comfortable here,” Ruud said.

“The last six, seven, eight months has not been I think perfect for him, and he fell out of the Top 10 and a few things… He’s been a steady Top 10, Top 5 player for many years already. He is always going to be a dangerous player and seems like he’s back in good shape. I’m going to have to expect the best version of Stefanos tomorrow.”

Tsitsipas said he was “in the zone” against Sinner, calling his opening gambit “one of the best first sets I have played on clay.” Ruud made an equally fast start against Djokovic, setting up an intriguing first few games in the final as both men look to land the first punch.

Both Tsitsipas and Ruud will aim to build points with their forehands in the final, with the Greek likely to attack earlier in the rallies, as seen in their three previous Lexus ATP Head2Head matches. Ruud owns a 2-1 edge in the series, with a Los Cabos semi-final win in their most recent meeting. They also split a pair of ATP Masters 1000 matchups across Madrid (Ruud) and Canada (Tsitsipas) in 2021.

Other news
Tsitsipas: Why overcoming Sinner ‘obstacle’ was key to Monte-Carlo progress

Greek reflects on triumph

Read more
Ruud: ‘I have taken steps in the right direction’

Norwegian lost to Tsitsipas in Sunday’s Monte-Carlo final.

Read more
Tsitsipas rules again! Greek soars to third Monte-Carlo title

Greek wins third title in the Principality.

Read more