Tsitsipas, Rublev make Monte Carlo final

Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a regal display to knock Dan Evans out of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a regal display to knock Dan Evans out of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has swatted aside unseeded Dan Evans 6-2 6-1 to reach the Monte Carlo Masters final for the first time and stay on course for a first title this year.

The big-serving Greek's opponent will be sixth seed, Russian Andrey Rublev, who beat unseeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 7-5 in Saturday's other semi-final, as he aims for his second title of the year and ninth overall.

Evans, who earned the biggest win of his career by beating world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the third round, failed to threaten fourth seed Tsitsipas in the same way and the match quickly slid away when he was serving at 3-2 down.

Tsitsipas, a French Open semifinalist last year, broke his serve five times and remains on track for a sixth career title.

He won his previous one in February last year at the Open 13 indoor tournament in Marseille, just weeks before France went into lockdown for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic which was to force the cancellation of the Monte Carlo event.

The 23-year-old Rublev produced another audacious display to defeat record 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday, and further confirm why he is one of the rising stars of tennis.

After winning the ATP Cup with Russia, he reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and then won the World Tournament in Rotterdam last month for his fourth title in seven months.

Since Rotterdam, he's reached four consecutive semifinals, including Monte Carlo.

The 22-year-old Ruud broke Rublev to love to lead 2-1 but then lost four straight games before finally holding in the eighth game to stop the Russian's momentum.

Rublev clinched the set on serve and broke Ruud at the start of the second set to take control, improving to 4-0 against him in their career.

Australian Associated Press