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Tsitsipas survives collapse to reach Monte-Carlo QFs


Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a mid-match collapse on Thursday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he recovered from squandering a 5-0 lead in the second set against Alexander Zverev to eventually advance 7-5, 7-6(3).

The Greek has produced his best tennis at the clay-court event, lifting the trophy in 2021 and 2022. For a set and a half he was on top form once again in the Principality in his 15th Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Zverev.

“I would call it an adventure of a lifetime,” Tsitsipas said. “Something I am not faced with every single day and momentum shifted dramatically at some points. It went one way and then it went completely the other way again. I don’t even know, I am trying to figure out right now what happened. I was 5-0 in the second set. However, things looked pretty good in the tie-break, especially when I got the mini break.”

Tsitsipas demonstrated great footwork to dictate on his forehand, forcing the German deep with his heavy spin, and from 7-5, 5-0, the Greek looked on course for a statement win. However, from two match points up at 5-0, Tsitsipas started to misfire and Zverev took advantage, increasing his consistency from the baseline to rally to 5-5.

With the possibility of a deciding set looming, Tsitsipas regained his composure in the tie-break, raising his arms after sealing a hard-fought two-hour, six-minute victory. It is the first time Tsitsipas has defeated a Top 5 opponent this season, with the Greek holding a 24-16 winners to unforced errors count in the match.

“It is a big win. I am grateful I was able to play the way I did today. It took a lot of mental strength throughout the entire match. It was very consistent from the beginning to the end. I felt very dominant from the baseline,” Tsitsipas said. “I was able to create pace and open the court, which helped me a lot. There is more tennis to be played, I am excited to see what the future holds. Today’s match was a great assessment to how much I can fight in tough moments.

The 25-year-old leads the German 10-5 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series and will meet Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals.

Tsitispas arrived in Monte-Carlo at No. 12 in the PIF ATP Rankings, having advanced beyond the quarter-finals at just one tour-level event so far this season (Los Cabos SF). The 12th seed is looking close to his best in the Principality, though, where he holds a 17-3 record.

Zverev is a two-time semi-finalist (2018, 22’) in Monte-Carlo. Seven of the German’s 21 tour-level trophies have come on clay.

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