Stefanos Tsitsipas wins Monte-Carlo

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Who would have thought that Stefanos Tsitsipas would suddenly rise up in Monte-Carlo, and then, he actually win the event? Before that, in three months, he was so-so, but on the clay in France, he began to play much more consistent, and also, he decided to hit the ball really harder.

The Greek beat three top 10 players, with Alexander Zverev, Jannik Sinner, and in the final, he out-hit Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-4. After he overcame about No. 2 Sinner in three dramatic sets, with some tremendous forehands, he knew that versus Ruud, he could pump it early, and then, pound the ball. He did, and now, he is going into Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, who should be on top of the ball.  Or maybe he won’t be, as the last time he won it was in Los Cabos, Mexico, back in July, and after that, he became erratic. Really, you never know, but last week, he look phenominal.

“This is an unbelievable win for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking,” Tsitsipas said. 

“I had to go out there and show my tennis as I promised every single of them I will make the most out of it. I am glad I presented on court and showed some ruthless tennis. From the beginning to the end my play was cohesive and I was able to blend in a lot of different shots.”

Unfortunately, Ruud looked tired. In the semis, he upset the No. 1 Novak Djokovic in three very tough sets. He played incredible, with some terrific strokes, and even he was able to stay in there, backhand to backhand. Crosscourt and down the line,  Djokovic is the best player of all time, but Ruud wore him down. The 25-year-old is more emotional when he is playing great. Now he has to refresh, as he will play in Barcelona, this week, so if he wants to go deep again,  he is going to have to be super patient.

USA over Belgium in Billie Jean King Cup
This has been going for years, in April, which was called the Fed Cup, but now, it is called the Billie Jean King Cup. Ok, that is fine, but not many people know who it is.

Someday, many will, or maybe not, but in Orlando, the United States won 4-0 in  the qualifying series.

In the singles, Jessica Pegula and Emma Navarro  won it, as was did Caroline Dolehide and Taylor Townsend in the dead-rubber doubles. Many of the Americans have won it so many times, but over the past 10 years, it has been harder. They will find out when in November, in Seville, Spain, there will be 12 teams. That could be dramatic. The new first-year captain Lindsay Davenport played so many times, over the years, so this time, she knows that she has a lot of work to do. Clearly, she was a terrific player, but currently, she has to learn coaching, gradually. She was happy though, a solid victory.

“It’s been an awesome experience. It was a little overwhelming last year when I just had my first conversation with the USTA,” she said. “I can’t do this. I’ve got four kids. They came back and they’re like, We really want to make this work. I was super happy about that.  It was never not about the players. Being on court with players is something I love. It was hard to balance practices, there were some meetings . I think I would look to schedule days differently. Like I said, it was a learning week for me also.” 

Yes it does.

Stuttgart hosts a number of the top players with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina. That should be a wild week.