From Monte Carlo to Barcelona; champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and seven quarter-finalists will play the tournament
Monte Carlo has crowned a new champion and Barcelona can proudly say that it is an ATP 500 tournament with the level of a Masters 1,000. The symbiosis of the two cities bathed by the Mediterranean goes beyond the courts and their geographical proximity benefits the transfer of players. Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1,000 title against Andrey Rublev and both will give even more glow to the Barcelona draw,which will feature a total of four top-10 players; Rafa Nadal, Diego Schwartzman, Tsitsipas and Rublev.
The Greek began the Monte Carlo final in an authoritarian way, setting the pace with the elegance of his one-handed backhand and the solvency of his prodigious service. The Russian, who made his debut in a Masters 1,000 category final, came out somewhat off on the Raniero III court in Monaco without public and dropped his serve in the first game that he regretted badly. Both young, title-hungry talents saw before their eyes the opportunity to occupy the throne without having to battle with Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal. Precisely, the Spaniard fell to Rublev in the quarterfinals of the principality and continues to work hard to display his best tennis on the clay that has given him so many afternoons of glory.
Tsitsipas closed the first set 6-3 and started the second with the ambition to finally win his first Masters 1,000 title. Rublev looked for the consolation of his mentor Fernando Vicente, hoping to find the solution to unlock the door. The Russian tried to go back with powerful shots towards the Greek’s backhand, but his insistence was unsuccessful. On tpposite he found the strongest and most mature Tsitsipas of his career and the match was decided with another 6-3 in just over an hour of play. The third time’s the charm for Titsipas, after losing in the finals of Canada 2018 and Madrid 2019.
The Monte Carlo Rolex Masters champion will arrive in Barcelona with his sixth title under his belt and with the security of having triumphed on clay. His performances on clay are increasingly solid and after being a semi-finalist at Roland Garros and Estoril 2019 champion, he will try to add to his record the precious Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy. In 2018, in his first participation, he reached the final by surprise of many and fell to Nadal. This time around, he will arrive at the tournament as the No.2 seed.