Alexander Zverev believes an aggressive game-plan is the key to winning more titles after moving into the Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-finals with a solid win over Pablo Carreno Busta.
The world No. 3 saw off a second-set improvement from the Spanish 13th seed to claim a 6-2 7-5 victory and reach the last eight in the Principality for the second time in six visits.
"For the second clay-court match of the season, I can't complain too much," he said.
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"Yes, I have lost focus a little bit in the second set, but at the end of the day, he's somebody that can really play. I'm happy with a two-set win.
To win the biggest tournaments in the world, like Masters series, like Grand Slams, you have to be aggressive. I'm not going to win big titles just by pushing the ball."
The five-time Masters 1000 champion had too much firepower for Carreno Busta in a one-sided opening set but needed to rally from an early break down in the second as the 24-year-old Olympic champion won 79 per cent of his first-serve points compared to just 57 per cent for his opponent.
"It's great, because especially on a clay court, especially here where it's a little bit slower I think than other clay courts that we play on, it is very important to get that confidence going on your serve," said Zverev, who hit eight aces and converted five of 14 break points during his victory. "All around, it's important to get these kinds of wins."
Zverev is now just three matches away from adding Monte-Carlo to the Madrid and Rome titles he has previously won on clay.
Next up, he faces ninth seed Jannik Sinner who came from a set down to defeat fifth seed, and 2021 finalist, Andrey Rublev 5-7 6-1 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.
The Italian appeared to be suffering with a blister issue in the opening set and received a medical timeout early in the second for what turned out to be a re-dressing of his right toe. It seemed to work in his favour as he hit back to avoid a repeat of the problem that led to his retirement in his Miami Open quarter-final against Francisco Cerundolo.
Sinner won six straight games after dropping serve at the start of the second set and went on to break twice in the decider to wrap up a win that saw him hit 35 winners.
The 20-year-old also improved to 19-3 on the year and secured a spot in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on clay.
Speaking about the atmosphere on Court Rainier III following his victory, he said: "It is for me very, very special playing here. Obviously many, many Italians [in the] crowd. It's incredible."
He added: "I know blisters now quite well. I don't think it's a concern (for the quarter-final). We have to treat it a little bit, obviously, but let's see. Tomorrow is an important match."
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