Titleholder Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals on Thursday by beating Serbian Laslo Djere in straight sets 7-5, 7-6 (7/1).
Tsitsipas — the world number five — will play either Diego Schwartzman of Argentina or Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in Friday’s semi-finals. “I had to put in a very good performance,” said Tsitsipas, who lost in five sets to Novak Djokovic in the French Open final last year.
“Laslo did not hand me victory, but I tried to stay 100 percent focused.
“The tie break was pivotal and I am delighted to have produced that level of tennis,” added the 23-year-old Greek.
Tsitsipas was joined in the last eight by Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz, who saw off his doubles partner Sebastian Korda, the conqueror of recent Miami victor Carlos Alcaraz in the previous round.
Incredibly it is the first time two Americans had reached the third round of the tournament since eventual finalist Jimmy Arias and Aaron Krickstein did in 1987. “It’s crazy really, I have reached the quarter-finals in four of the last five Masters tournaments,” said the 13th-ranked Fritz.
“If I had been luckier in Miami I could have been five from five. “I am in a good place at the moment. I seem to be improving all the time.”
Fritz will play last year’s quarter-finalist Alejandro Davidovich, the Spaniard who in the previous round knocked out world number one Djokovic. He progressed by beating the experienced Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 6-1 on Thursday.
“I carried the emotion of beating Djokovic into this match,” said Davidovich. “I knew it would be a tough game as David won in Marrakech last weekend. “However, he appeared more tired than I was and I am delighted to have reached the quarter-finals.”
There was an upset though as Norway’s fourth-seed Casper Ruud followed Djokovic and Alcaraz out of the tournament.
The Miami finalist was beaten by the talented but inconsistent Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 6-3, 7-5. AFP