Stefanos Tsitsipas Monte Carlo Masters 2022

‘I’m focused on the Race’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas brushes off question of title defence

Stefanos Tsitsipas is paying little mind to the fact that he has a shot at winning back-to-back Monte Carlo titles after moving on to the quarter-finals there. 

The world number five has now won 13 consecutive sets in Monte Carlo across this event and last after downing Laslo Djere 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

Tsitsipas is now into his 13th career Masters 1000 quarter-final and fifth on clay.

The Greek told Prakash Amritraj after the victory: “I’m trying to enjoy my game as much as I can.

“As I’ve said to friends and family before, it’s a long year.

“I’m really focusing on the Race to Turin, not thinking to much about defending [my title here].

“I’m more focused on the long run and playing good tennis.”

The Greek is currently fifth in the rankings points race for the ATP Finals, just behind Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz and ahead of world number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime.

In Monte Carlo, Tsitsipas has already taken down two capable clay-courters in Fabio Fognini and Djere, but will take on another in three-time tour level clay title-winner and 2020 Rome Masters finalist Diego Schwartzman.

Tsitsipas said on-court after defeating Djere: “He is someone who can compete very well on clay and I had to bring the best out of my game today.

“I really had to work hard for this win.”

The 23-year-old continued that line of thinking with Amritraj, saying: “I’ve had two difficult opponents so far that can play on clay.

“[Fognini and Djere] have had good results on clay.”

Both of Djere’s career titles have come on clay and Fognini’s biggest career title also came on the surface when he won Monte Carlo in 2019 for his maidne Masters triumph.

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