Monte Carlo | Khachanov and Tsitsipas take out Zverev and Medvedev

As the quarter final stage of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters was reached, two likely title contenders were missing in the line-up as they were consigned to the sidelines with the defending champion, beaten on Wednesday.

I lost a couple of tight matches to him on hard courts. On clay I have not got a title on clay, but I have good results on clay. I have reached the quarter finals at Roland Garros twice. Karen Khachanov

Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, the world’s No.4 and 5, were due to meet in the last eight, but both were upset in straight sets as the tournament edged its way to a conclusion on Sunday.

The 16th seed Russian, Karen Kachanov took out his compatriot Medvedev 6-3 7-5 in just under two hours, while the Greek 12th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas edged out Zverev earlier in the day, 7-5 7-6(3).

Khachanov broke Medvedev in the eighth game of the opener which was all he needed to go up a set.

The second set was a lot closer with neither dropping serve in a 10-game run when Khachanov was forced to fend off a set point. He then proceeded to break Medvedev in the next game which he followed up by holding his serve to progress having secured only his second win over his countryman in seven meetings.

In his previous match Medvedev had caused an uproar by shouting in an unseemly manner at a line-judge following a questionable call. He again complained about the officiating in the second set when Khachanov was serving for the match but this time, he picked up a penalty point from umpire Carlos Bernardes.

His outburst was triggered by a bad line call while serving at 5-5, 15-30. He missed the next point and then lost his serve on a double fault resulting in him throwing his racket out of frustration, against the backboard.

“Who will take action? Yesterday the ball is out. It’s called in. This ball is out there. Who will take responsibility? It’s not my responsibility to referee the matches. It’s this guy in the glasses. He doesn’t need glasses because he doesn’t see anything,” Medvedev ranted.

“It’s 15-30 at 5-5. He should be out of the clay court circle. Why? It’s the 2nd day in a row. Open your eyes. Open your freaking eyes. Do something. It’s out!”

Meanwhile Khachanov was delighted at the progress he is making.

“I lost a couple of tight matches to him on hard courts. On clay I have not got a title on clay, but I have good results on clay. I have reached the quarter finals at Roland Garros twice. I always won matches but did not win the tournament.,” the big Russian said.

“In a way I think overall my results on clay are better than his and mentally he said many times he does not like to play on it. That gives me extra confidence and maybe on clay the game is a little bit different.

“I mean it is different and this is the way I tried to approach today. I tried to spin more and move him outside the line. A few differences between hard courts and clay courts. The first thing is to be consistent.

“I think lately my results have been better and better. Then to think how to beat the top guys and be at the top. These are the things that we have to keep in mind and keep working on. The win today gives extra confidence in my pocket to continue this tournament and to step into the clay swing.”


Stefanos Tsitsipas is chasing his third title in Monte Carlo

(Photo by Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)

He will need all of that new found confidence when he faces the two-time former champion Tsitsipas who stormed into a winning position having squeezed through a heavily contested opening set.

Leading 5-0 in the second, he then proceeded to lose five consecutive games after failing to convert match points when serving out before finally crossing the line in a tiebreak!

“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.

“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.

“Today’s match was a great assessment to how much I can fight in tough moments.”

For the Greek icon it is his ninth quarter-final in ten clay-court Masters events as becomes the first player this decade to reach 50 wins at 1000 and Grand Slam level on this surface.

The remaining quarter final places were filled as expected.

The top seeded Novak Djokovic beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 6-3 and avenged his loss to the Italian last year in the third round.

Musetti led by a break in the first set this time but Djokovic managed to find his rhythm and capitalised on the Italian’s mistakes.

The top seed gained the decisive break in the 12th game of the first set before he turned up the tempo in the second set to reach the last eight after one hour and 59 minutes.

Djokovic will next meet Alex de Minaur after the Australian beat his countryman Alexei Popyrin, conqueror of the defending champion Andrei Rublev in the previous round, 6-3 6-4.

The 36-year-old, who will celebrate his birthday next month, is competing in his first event since splitting with his former coach Goran Ivanisevic.

” I started to gain momentum, I think [when] he dropped his level and focus a little bit,” Djokovic said during his on court interview.

“Things can turn around very quickly. We saw a little bit of a rollercoaster in the second set and I’m just glad staying tough and aggressive in the right moments paid off.

“I don’t think I’m still at my top level. But it was a great test today against an amazing player, a very talented player, particularly on clay.

“I’m really glad to overcome the challenge and look forward to the next one.”


Jannik Sinner's success still continues

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The second seed and main title contender seeing as he has only lost one match this season so far, continued his impressive run when he beat Jan Lennard Struff 6-4 6-2 in just 76-minutes.

The 22-year-old Italian will face the 20-year-old, Holger Rune for a semi-final place, after the Dane survived a three-hour, 30-minute marathon against the in-form Bulgarian, Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(2).

After a slow start, Sinner took control when it mattered to break for 5-4 and then pocket the opening set comfortably.

In the second set, despite sterner resistance from Struff, the German was powerless against the shot making from the youngster who swept him aside with relative ease.

“I think for sure the service games were important, I broke him early and then he broke me back and this can change the momentum,” Sinner said following his victory. “For sure I can be proud, a very different match up to the first round, I’m just very happy to be in the next round.

“It’s great for me, Italian tennis is growing – I think that’s the most important part, trying to make tennis in Italy bigger, it’s just great to be part of this event and everything that is going on. I just try to make the best out of it so I can be happy.”


Holger Rune survives an epic marathon

(Photo by Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)

In contrast Rune survived a major battle and had to dig deep to beat Dimitrov in a three-set epic.

The opening set itself was incredible before an 11-9 tie-break gave the Dane the psychological advantage against the inform Dimitrov who had reached three finals already this season, so it wasn’t surprising to see the Bulgarian respond by claiming the second to set up an exciting decider, no doubt helped by the Dane calling for the trainer to deal with an issue to his racket hand.

However, it didn’t hamper him in the third set as the two matched each other in the service department leaving a tiebreak to decide the outcome where the younger player dominated.

“It was tough physically, I had a match earlier [he had to complete his match against Sumit Nagal suspended overnight] so I played five sets today, so it was brutal, but good preparation for the Grand Slams,” the Dane said. “I was very worried [about my injury] as it started to pull on the serve, so we have to see – I need to check with my physio but most of all I’m extremely happy, Grigor is an extremely talented player so to share a court with him is amazing.”

The final quarter final sees Casper Ruud face Ugo Humbert after the Norwegian, seeded 8, swept Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz aside 6-4 6-2 and the Frenchman survived the second marathon of the day by defeating Lucky Loser Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, 5-7 6-3 6-1 after nearly three hours of play.



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