Taylor Fritz upended two-time defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.
The 70-minute victory against the Greek No. 2 seed marked the first career top-10 win on clay for the eighth-seeded American.
Fritz halted Tsitsipas’ 12-match winning streak at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament by converting four of five break chances and winning 70 percent (14 of 20) of the points on his second serve.
“I thought my level today was very high. I think I played a very good match. Beating him here gives me a lot of confidence,” said Fritz, who had been 0-3 against Tsitsipas. “It has given me the reassurance I need to know I can play well on clay.
“I seemed to play well on the big points. I took my chances. I knew that if I played too safe he would be able to get around and dictate on the forehand. So even in the pressure moments I pulled the trigger.”
Up next for the 25-year-old American is No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia, who defeated Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals.
“He is a great player and a good friend and I am excited for the match,” Fritz said about Rublev. “He is tough.”
Rublev struck seven aces and consistently had Struff on the ropes, converting four of a whopping 14 break points.
No. 6 seed Holger Rune of Denmark and No. 7 Jannik Sinner of Italy will meet in Saturday’s other semifinal.
Both advanced in straight sets Friday, with Rune eliminating No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-3, 6-4 and Sinner taking down countryman and No. 16 seed Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-2. Musetti ousted top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Rune posted 17 winners and just seven unforced errors. He also won 81 percent (17 of 21) of the points he played at the net.
“It wasn’t easy for sure, it’s always tough to play Daniil,” Rune said. “It was actually my first time playing against him in a real match, but we’ve practiced tons of times. I have huge respect for everything he’s done. … It was not easy to stop him but I’m happy I managed to do it.”
Sinner broke Musetti’s serve in the opening game and never looked back. He saved all five of his own break points and finished with 19 winners and just three unforced errors.
–Field Level Media