Tsitsipas defeats Davidovich Fokina to retain Monte Carlo crown

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Stefanos Tsitsipas defended his Monte Carlo Masters crown and lifted his eighth ATP Tour title by defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets on Sunday.

Greek Tsitsipas, who defeated Andrey Rublev to triumph in Monaco last year, eased past second seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-final and repeated the trick with a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) victory over Davidovich Fokina.

The Spaniard beat Novak Djokovic and reigning Indian Wells Masters champion Taylor Fritz en route to his maiden ATP Tour final, and started well on Court Rainier III with an early break.

However, Tsitsipas found his rhythm with his ferocious forehand to break back before winning four of the next five games to take the lead.

The world number five, appearing in his fourth Masters 1000 final, then failed to serve out for the match at 5-4 up in the second set, but recovered in the tie-break to secure his first trophy of the season.

In doing so, Tsitsipas becomes the sixth player to manage consecutive Monte Carlo titles in the Open Era, while half of his eight tour-level titles have come on clay.

"I am very proud of myself," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "Things weren't going well at one point, but I managed to stay composed to finish the match off.

"I am really proud with the belief I put in my game. Sometimes you doubt yourself, but it is always important to keep your head high."

Davidovich Fokina was aiming to become the first unseeded champion in Monte Carlo since Thomas Muster in 1992, and Tsitsipas acknowledged the 22-year-old made him fight to reclaim the trophy.

"He fought in moments I didn't expect him to fight," Tsitsipas said. "He can hit incredible winners out of nowhere and play unpredictably.

"But I was able to minimise that. I knew he would be a dangerous opponent but that is a great win for me. I think we will see great results from him in the future."

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