Djokovic Downs De Minaur At Monte Carlo Masters, Faces Ruud In SF; Sinner v Tsitsipas

It’s a loaded men’s semifinal line-up at the Monte Carlo Masters led by 2-time champion Novak Djokovic.

Today in the quarterfinals, Djokovic returned to the Monte Carlo semifinals for the first time since his last title run in 2015 by dispatching Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-4.

Djokovic got a late break to take the opener, then held on in a break-fest in the second to reach a record-breaking 77th Masters semifinal.

“I think in particularly the second set, you know, a lot of unforced errors and just dropped service games back to back to back, many breaks of serve, which obviously on the clay court you can expect more breaks than normal, than comparing to other surfaces, but this was a little bit extraordinary, I think,” Djokovic said.

“I don’t think we maybe played such beautiful tennis in the second set, let’s say. Maybe the last few games, but, you know, most of the second set was quite ugly.”

Djokovic will now get Casper Ruud in a rematch of their French Open final from last year. Ruud ousted Ugo Humbert 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

Djokovic leads Ruud 5-0 and 11-0 in sets!

“I’m going to do my best, kind of David versus Goliath,” Ruud said of facing Djokovic. “I’m going to play loose, happy to have some Norwegian friends that are going to come and hopefully cheer me on and I’m going to enjoy the match.”

Jannik Sinner kept pace in the match of the day defeating rival Holger Rune 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3. Rune saved match points in the second then had a break chance at 2-all in the third. Sinner saved and then pulled away late.

“I had some chances in the second,” said Sinner. “I couldn’t use them. But, you know, this is tennis. Sometimes you take them with the first breakpoint; sometimes you don’t take them. I just tried to stay focused. I had chances in the tiebreak. Then he played a very good point.

“Then after, my return was out just a little bit, but, you know, this can happen. I just tried to stay focused on the third set. I was expecting a very tough match, which it was today, so I’m very proud that I won today and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow.”

The Italian is now 25-1 on the year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas will be next for Sinner. The Greek, who has twice won Monte Carlo, continued his good event with a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Karen Khachanov.

“I would lie if I said it doesn’t bring good memories stepping out on this court,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s something that I attribute some of my performances here over time to.

“I come back here, and I sort of relive those memories of the past. It gives good feelings to me when I’m able to play in front of crowds like this and be able to try and strive for excellence with my game.”

The Greek has won five of eight from Sinner but Sinner won their last two last year.

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