Stefanos Tsitsipas remains on course to defend his Monte-Carlo Masters title after booking a spot in the last eight with a hard-fought win over Laslo Djere.
The world No.5 followed up his impressive victory over 2019 champion Fabio Fognini with a 7-5 7-6 (1) success over the Serbian world No.62 to book a quarter-final showdown with Diego Schwartzman.
“I knew I had to be alert,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “He is someone who competes very well on clay. He stays consistent and puts a lot of balls back and I really had to work hard for this win. It was important to get a good dynamic start in the tie-break and stay in rallies and take my chances when they appeared.”
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No.12 seed Schwartzman had to dig deep to end young Italian Lorenzo Musetti’s run with a 2-6 6-4 6-3 triumph. The Argentine prevailed in two hours and 34 minutes to reach his 13th Masters 1000 quarter final and his second in Monte Carlo.
Elsewhere, No.4 seed Casper Ruud was a surprise casualty as the Norwegian went down 6-3 7-5 to Grigor Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian world No.29 advanced to the quarter finals in the Principality for the fourth time as his controlled aggression proved too good for Ruud, who could not find the level that saw him reach the final of the Miami Open at the start of the month.
“I was really looking forward to the match,” said Dimitrov. “I knew if I did the right things, good things would come out of it. Casper is such a great player on whatever surface. He has proved it over and over again at such a young age, which is nice to see. I liked that match-up and wanted to see where I was physically and mentally. I just played and enjoyed the game.”
Dimitrov will face 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz next after the Pole beat Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(2) 6-2, hitting 13 aces along the way.
“It is always tough this week because you are switching surfaces,” added the 30-year-old, Dimitrov. “So I try and not be too tough on myself in practice. I just try to do the simple things. It is going so well so far.”
There was drama on Court des Princes during Taylor Fritz’s victory over Sebastian Korda.
A ball girl seemingly fainted as a result of the intense heat ahead of what proved to be the penultimate game of the contest.
Thankfully, the youngster was able to walk off court after assistance from medics and Fritz, the recent Indian Wells champion, went on to claim a 7-6 (4) 7-5 victory.
The American No.10 seed, who has now reached at least the quarter finals in four of the past five Masters 1000 tournaments, will meet Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Alejandro Davidovich Fokina next following his 6-4 6-1 triumph over David Goffin.
“I thought the match today was pretty good,” Fritz said. “I was looking out for his return. I think I did a good job serving, mixing up all my spots. I fought off his returns on my second serves, which was the main focus. It was really good conditions today, so I was able to play what I felt was my best match.”
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