Monte Carlo | Tsitsipas and Medvedev trip up in Monaco

Following the removal of the top-seeded Novak Djokovic on Thursday in the round of 16, it was expected that the Monte Carlo Master’s final would feature Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas but that surmise was blown aside by Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz who eliminated them respectively at the quarter final stage.

It has given me the reassurance I need to know I can play well on clay Taylor Fritz

The Greek defending champion, Tsitsipas, seeded two, was upset by the eighth seeded American Fritz 6-2 6-4 in 60-minutes while Russia’s Medvedev, the third seed, was outplayed by Denmark’s Rune 6-3 6-4 after 77-minutes.

“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,” Fritz said following his victory over the reigning champion who had not been beaten in Monaco for the past two years.

“It has given me the reassurance I need to know I can play well on clay.

“I seemed to play well on the big points. I took my chances. I knew that if I played too safe, he would be able to get around and dictate on the forehand. So even in the pressure moments I pulled the trigger.”

Ranked 10th in the world, Fritz dropped just 6 points on his first serves and was broken just once while he in turn, broke the Greek star on four of the five chances he created.

It was also his first victory over a top-10 player on clay, his first over Tsitsipas and it will be his first appearance in the semi-finals of a clay court Masters.

“I just seemed off. My serve was not working very well today, and against opponents like Taylor, you have to serve well,” Tsitsipas explained his defeat. “I was aware of that during the match. I just couldn’t find the rhythm.

“I am much better than this and I’m disappointed I was not able to show my game today. I tried to fight on the second set. It’s a good lesson. It’s not a happy day for me, but it’s a good lesson.”

He then revealed that his shoulder, picked up in the Melbourne final, had not fully recovered.

“I would have never pictured myself dealing with such an injury,” added Tsitsipas.

“It would have been perhaps the last thing that I could think of in terms of injury with tennis. It’s probably the worst injury that I’ve had on the tennis court so far.”

Andrey Rublev hits a powerful backhand during his quarter final match

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Fritz will now face Andrey Rublev who was a 6-1 7-6(5) winner over German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff, a player he leads 4-2 in their personal head-to-head clashes, most recently dismissing him last year in Cincinnati.

The pair have never met on clay but it doesn’t worry the Russian.

“Doesn’t matter the surface. It’s tough,” said Rublev.

“You know, when the guy returns full power to you, you need a couple of shots to start the rally, because if he returns well, you’re in danger.”

Holger Rune raises hi racket in a victory salute

Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Meanwhile in the top half of the draw, Medvedev having battled through a three-hour three-set match to reach the last eight, couldn’t raise his game sufficiently to give the Danish teenager a run for his money as he succumbed to Rune who just needed a break in each set to claim victory.

“It wasn’t easy for sure, it’s always tough to play Daniil,” Rune said. “It was actually my first time playing against him in a real match, but we’ve practiced tons of times. I have huge respect for everything he’s done. The last week it was not easy to stop him but I’m happy I managed to do it.

“It was not easy to stop him but I’m happy I managed to do it. This court… it’s very nice to play here.

“His serve is huge, and he can hit every target. It’s very faultless. When it’s in and on the line there is nothing you can do. You just have to accept it and try to see what chance you can get and see if you can take it.”

“It was not bad,” said Medvedev said after receiving his second loss in 29 matches this season. “I beat good players on clay. Yesterday evening was magic. It was very tough on clay. It’s not easy to win matches like this.

“[Rune] played very well. I could have played a bit better, but if we talk about clay again, I’m not as at ease as he is on clay. I believe he’s better on that surface, and I think in the following years he’s going to be very strong on clay. So overall, it’s very positive. There are other big tournaments coming up. We’ll see what I do there, but I’m very happy with this tournament in Monte Carlo.”

Rune will now face the seventh seeded Jannik Sinner who advanced to his third straight Masters semi-final cruising past his unseeded Italian compatriot Lorenzo Musetti, the 16th seed who ousted Djokovic in the previous round,, 6-2 6-2 and no doubt hopes to repeat his win over him in their only previous meeting last year in Sofia.

Jannik Sinner wins the all-Italian clash

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images



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