Published: 14:33, April 15, 2024
Tsitsipas dismantles Ruud to secure third Monte Carlo title
By Reuters
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece kisses the trophy after defeating Casper Ruud of Norway to win the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters final match 6-1, 6-4 in Monaco on April 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

Stefanos Tsitsipas made short work of Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud as he seized a third Monte Carlo Masters title in four years with a 6-1 6-4 victory on Sunday.

Tsitsipas dominated proceedings against fellow 25-year-old Ruud from the onset, cruising through six consecutive games to wrap up the opening set in 36 minutes.

The second set was a much closer affair but Tsitsipas proved too strong for Ruud, as the Greek became the first player in the professional era to win his first three Monte Carlo finals in straight sets.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece plays the ball to Casper Ruud of Norway during their Monte Carlo Tennis Masters final match in Monaco on April 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

Tsitsipas, who handed Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner just his second defeat of the year in the semi-finals on Saturday, secured his first title of 2024, taking his career haul to 11.

Tsitsipas joins Rafa Nadal, Bjorn Borg, Thomas Muster and Ilie Nastase to win at least three Monte Carlo titles.

"It's been very difficult. To be back on the podiums and winning tournaments feels amazing," Tsitsipas said.

"I can't thank enough my family and friends... for making this possible.

Norway's Casper Ruud plays a forehand return to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their Monte Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament final tennis match on the Rainier III court at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

"The trinity is even more special than the first or second time. This is purely unbelievable for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking. I really wanted the trinity so I got it. I'm extremely happy today."

Having come into the claycourt Masters 1000 event with an 11-6 win-loss record for 2024, Tsitsipas will return to the world's top 10 on Monday after dropping out for the first time since 2019 earlier in the year.

But it was yet another heartbreak for former French and US Open finalist Ruud, who had stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in the semis, having lost the Mexican and Los Cabos Open final earlier this year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (left) poses with the trophy alongside runner up Casper Ruud of Norway after the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters final match in Monaco on April 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

"I'd like to congratulate Stef for winning Monte Carlo once again," Ruud said. "You (Tsitsipas) love this tournament. Very, very well played all week.

"I know you fell out of top 10 a few weeks ago but you're back again where I think you belong. You're a fantastic player and especially on clay and Monte Carlo... Congratulations to you and your team."