Stefanos Tsitsipas said he needed all of his "soul" to beat Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Tsitsipas - despite a scare against Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals late on Friday - has looked in fine touch all week at the Monte Carlo Country Club and he continued that form in a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over Zverev.
Having taken the title last year, the Greek will look to make it back-to-back triumphs in the principality, with his opponent in Sunday's final the unseeded Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who has been the story of the tournament with his wins over Novak Djokovic, Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov - the latter in Saturday's first semi-final.
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Talking afterwards, Tsitsipas said: “I had to put my soul out there and I demanded from myself to make it physical - as surprising as this may sound - after a very physical battle [against Schwartzman].
"I knew that my body may not respond the same way that I wanted it to, but I had certain demands and I stuck to those demands and made them happen, as surreal as it may sound.
"I wanted to stay on the court as much as I had to and try to start rallies and make it physical. Obviously it worked in my favour.
"I don’t know whether the long match [against Schwartzman] gave me some rhythm, but I was able to play good tennis today.
"I’m happy with the level I was able to execute and come up with some good ideas on the court.
“It’s going to take a little bit more [to beat Davidovich Fokina].
“He’s on a good run, in a good rhythm. I’ve played him before, he’s a good opponent, I’ve had big battles against him and I’m going to try and be as ready as possible.
“I know he’s improved from before and I’m going to have that in the back of my head, to produce the best tennis that I can.”
Zverev meanwhile admitted Tsitsipas had deserved his victory whilst also bemoaning his own misfortune, which involved carrying a leg injury during the tournament.
The 24-year-old said: "I think I was quite limited in what I did [in the match].
"On Friday [in the quarter-finals against Jannik Sinner] I already had a bit of trouble on my serve because of my [injured] leg.
"But Stefanos played ten times better than me, so he deserved to win. Nothing else to say.
"Overall it was a positive week for me. I played some good matches here.
"In Miami I got ill. Here I injured myself a little. So I feel that things are happening a bit outside my control, which is a bit annoying for me."
Tsitsipas showed no ill-effects of his arduous encounter with Schwartzman in the early stages of Saturday's last-four clash, breaking Zverev three times in the first set to take it 6-4.
Using all of his customary clay-court craft, Tsitsipas sliced and drop-shotted his way through the second set, moving his German opponent around the court and hitting a number of impressive winners.
Tsitsipas' return of serve has been documented by some commentators as an area for improvement, but he won 26 points on Zverev's serve compared to just 15 for the German, and it was a sign of why the Greek was able to create so many difficulties on his opponent's serve.
And it was the two further breaks that Tsitsipas was able to grab in the second set that enabled him to cruise away to victory.
The win put Tsitsipas into his fourth Masters 1000 final and he will take on Davidovich Fokina with a 2-0 head-to-head record in his favour.
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24/06/2022 AT 12:53