Tsitsipas Overpowers Schwartzman In Classic
On a day of thrillers at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the best was saved until last when Stefanos Tsitsipas edged Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 in an epic clash under the floodlights on Court Rainier III .
In a classic quarter-final match that swung one way and then another, Tsitsipas squandered a 5-2 lead in the second set, before rallying from 0-4 in the decider to triumph after two hours and 45 minutes on Friday.
“There was a moment in the match where I felt what I was doing wasn’t working,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “He had a massive lead and momentum in what he was trying to do. I just tried to stay in the match as much as I could and that worked out very well. I wasn’t expecting much at that point being a double break down, so I relaxed at that point.”
Both hit aggressively throughout as they entertained the raucous crowd on Court Rainier III with their shotmaking and agility. Tsitsipas looked down and out at 0-4 in the third set after losing nine out of 10 games from 5-2 up in the second set. However, the World No. 5 then started to find his rhythm once again, hitting with greater width and topspin once again to triumph.
“It was extremely close,” Tsitsipas said. “I was really close in the second set. That was the moment I had a big chance to close it out but Diego is Diego and I had to be Stefanos in the third set.”
Tsitsipas is now two wins away from retaining his title in Monte Carlo, after he clinched his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown at the event last year. The World No. 5 ruthlessly dispatched 2019 champion Fabio Fognini and Serbian Laslo Djere in his opening two matches and will compete in his ninth semi-final at this level on Saturday.
With his victory, the 23-year-old has leveled his ATP Head2Head series with Schwartzman at 2-2 and will next play Alexander Zverev after the German edged Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5).
Tsitsipas is aiming to win his first title since he captured the crown in Lyon last May. His best result this season came in Rotterdam, where he enjoyed a run to the final before losing to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The third seed made a fast start, racing into a 5-0 lead as he had success on return, taking heavy cuts at the ball to pin Schwartzman deep behind the baseline. Tsitsipas dictated the backhand exchanges as he caused the Argentine problems with his heavy topspin.
After moving ahead, Tsitsipas continued to play with high intensity as he gained the crucial break in the fourth game to gain further control. However, from 2-5 Schwartzman battled back to 5-5 as Tsitsipas’ level dipped under pressure. The World No. 16 sensed his luck and played a faultless tie-break to level the match.
Schwartzman then soared into a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, but Tsitsipas would not be denied, storming back as he regained his focus and top level to triumph in one of the matches of the season.
Earlier on Friday Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina eliminated Taylor Fritz in the three sets, while Grigor Dimitrov overcame Hubert Hurkacz in another match that went the distance.
Schwartzman was aiming to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final this season, having reached the last four on the clay in Rome in 2019 and 2020.