Monte Carlo | Tsitsipas and Auger Aliassime get confidence boosting wins

Its probably the most prestigious ATP 1000 level event on the professional circuit and one most players would be happy to include on their CVs at the end of their careers: the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters played on the glamorous playground of the Principality of Monaco overlooking the Mediterranean.

I did my job relatively well. I started well, I played the first set pretty much with very good consistency and generated good pace on the ball Stefanos Tsitsipas

The first round is well under way as the big names, Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, thanks to opening round byes, await their opponents to open their campaigns in the second round.

Amongst those fighting to get into the second round was the two-time champion Stefanos Tsitsipas who secured a win over Laslo Djere when the Serbian suddenly retired when the Greek, seeded 12, was leading 6-3 3-2.

At the time it wasn’t clear whether it was because of an injury but it was later confirmed that the problem was in his right arm.

“I didn’t expect such a finish,” Tsitsipas said after the 65-minute of competitive play.

“This is not something that is very common when I play, but I did my job well. Obviously, I wish him a speedy recovery because injuries are not fun to have when you’re on the tour.

“I did my job relatively well. I started well, I played the first set pretty much with very good consistency and generated good pace on the ball.

“I was happy with how I started. I think things are looking good and I’m hoping to keep going the same way.

“I really enjoyed getting a better consistency on my serve towards the end and I hope I can keep mixing it up with fun play.”

Felix Auger Aliassime sets up meeting with Carlos Alcaraz

(Photo by Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)

Felix Auger Aliassime is another player who is trying to recover ground and re-climb the rankings and get back to their previous heights.

The Canadian hasn’t had the best of seasons so far but on this occasion, he comfortably beat the Italian qualifier Lucas Nardi 6-2 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with the third seeded Carlos Alcaraz.

“It is not the Masters where I have had the most success, even though I train here and live here,” Auger Aliassime said.

“But it is a good start to the week. I am really happy with my level, taking control of the match and staying composed and taking care of business.”

The 23-year-old from Montreal, holds 3-2 edge over Spaniard form Murcia, aged 20, tbut this is the first time the pair face each other on clay.

Grigor Dimitrov shows off his famous one-handed backhand.

(Photo by Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)

In other matches, Miami Open finalist, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov defeated Monegasque wild card Valentin Vacherot 7-5 6-2.

“It was a difficult match,” Dimitrov admitted.

“I am glad I kept on going. I know I was far away from my game, but I have other things I can do in moments like that and that helped me step up a little bit and that was enough.”

Also through is the 14th-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert who fought back to beat the qualifier from Argentina, Federico Coria, 4-6, 6-1, but the Kazak Alexander Bublic, the 16th seed, crashed out in his opening match to Croatia’s Borna Coric, 6-1 6-1 as did the American No.1, Taylor Fritz, the 13th seed to Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-4.



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