Tsitsipas to face Rublev in Monte Carlo Masters final

Both players won their respective semifinal matches in straight sets to enter the summit clash on Sunday

Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after beating Dan Evans on Saturday-AP

Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas swatted aside unseeded Dan Evans 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the Monte Carlo Masters final for the first time, and stay on course for a first title this year.

Evans beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the third round, but failed to threaten Tsitsipas in the same way and the match quickly slid away when he was serving at 3-2 down.

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Tsitsipas broke his serve five times and remained on track for a sixth career title.

He won his previous one in February last year at the Open 13 indoor tournament in Marseille — just weeks before France went into lockdown for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big-serving Greek's opponent will be sixth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev, who beat unseeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 7-5.

The 23-year-old Rublev produced an audacious display to defeat record 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday, and further confirm why he is one of the rising stars of tennis.

The 22-year-old Ruud, who has just one career title, also beat a former champion by knocking out 2019 winner Fabio Fognini.

But after breaking Rublev to love to lead 2-1 he then lost four straight games before finally holding in the eighth game to stop the Russian's momentum.

Rublev clinched the set on serve and broke Ruud at the start of the second set to take control, improving to 4-0 against him in their career.

After winning the ATP Cup with Russia, he reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and then won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last month for his fourth title in seven months. Since Rotterdam, he’s reached four consecutive semifinals, including Monte Carlo.