Fritz causes upset by defeating Tsitsipas; Medvedev exits the tournament

Taylor Fritz, of the United States, hits a forehand to Stefanos Tsitsipas, of Greece, during their Monte Carlo Tennis Masters quarterfinals match in Monaco, Friday, April 14, 2023.

On Friday, American player Taylor Fritz pulled off an upset after defeating two-time defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters.

In another surprise, third-seeded Daniil Medvedev also lost to sixth-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark 6-3, 6-4, leading to the exit of the top three seeds in the clay-court tournament, following Novak Djokovic’s exit in the third round on Thursday.

Normally, Tsitsipas is a 12-match winning streak record holder on the Cote d’Azur, where he had previously won two Masters 1,000 titles. “I stuck to the strategy of pulling the trigger and not letting him dictate with his forehand,” the eighth-seeded Fritz said. After breaking back to 4-4 in the second set, Tsitsipas was easily broken for 5-4, and Fritz closed out the match with a love hold and an ace. “I thought my level today was very high. I think I played a very good match. Beating him here gives me a lot of confidence,” said Fritz. Banishing any doubts of his skill, Fritz hit 17 winners, and the reassurance he gained after defeating Tsitsipas gives him the confidence to play well on clay courts.

Fritz has already won five career titles, including two this year, but none of them were on clay. In the upcoming match, Fritz will face fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev, who beat German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 7-6 (5).

Medvedev had a history of saving two match points when he defeated Alexander Zverev on Thursday. However, the player was clearly distracted by the crowd in the first set and spoke to the umpire about it. Although he broke back to 2-2 in the fourth game of the second set, he eventually ended up losing the game. Rune, on the other hand, was not deterred in stopping Medvedev, saying, “I have huge respect for everything he’s done. It was not easy to stop him but I’m happy I managed to do it.” Medvedev was aiming to reach his sixth straight final this year, having already won four titles in 2023.

Italian Jannik Sinner, 21, defeated No. 16 Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-2 in an all-Italian quarterfinal to reach his third straight semifinal at the Masters level this season. The seventh-seeded Sinner broke Musetti twice in the second set and converted his first match point with a strong first serve that Musetti returned long. Sinner was beaten by second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz in the semis at Indian Wells earlier this year and had also lost to Medvedev in the Miami Masters final two weeks ago.

Rafael Nadal, the record 11-time champion, and Alcaraz pulled out of the Monte Carlo tournament. Nadal revealed that he would also skip the Barcelona Open, which would surely limit his clay-court preparations for the French Open, as he had not fully recovered from a left hip flexor injury sustained at the Australian Open.

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