Just a couple of weeks ago in Miami the top two remaining seeds left were Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, the pressure was on to win their first Masters 1000 titles but that didn’t pan out for either.
This week, day by day we have seen Djokovic, Nadal and Zverev amongst those who stumbled but Tsitsipas and Rublev who of course took out Nadal have been in fine form.
It was the Greek who came out of the blocks quicker, I have said throughout the year he is playing with an intensity which has been super impressive through the course of the season and this week.
The 2019 ATP Finals Champion raced to a 3-0 lead and then was up 0-30 once again on Rublev’s serve. Thankfully for the Russian he performed a bit of escape to stay in close contact with Tsitsipas but struggling to make an impact. The Russian’s lack of bite at the net and variety in longer rallies caused problems as she saw Stefanos comfortably stroke to the first set 6-3 dropping just five points on serve.
A theme throughout the first set was the precision off the Greeks forehand and he barely missed throughout the opening set and set that theme early in the second finding himself up a set and a break over Rublev.
Credit to Rublev, despite being a break down he did push Tsitsipas hard. At 3-2 30-30 he had a look in on his second serve but couldn’t find a way through and shanked a forehand into the back fences and in the next Tsitsipas service game struggled against as at 3-6 3-5 Rublev would serve to stay in the match.
The errors from Rublev under the pressure of Tsitsipas proved too much as Greek brought the Russian to the net, put the volley long and then a forehand wide sealed a maiden Masters 1000 title for Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Arguably, is that his biggest title of his career, even after winning the ATP Finals in 2019? I think so!
I am very pleased for Stefanos, I have been there for some of his big wins, Federer in Melbourne and Nadal in Madrid but to win this title is special especially slipping up in Miami against Hurkacz and this record in ATP 500 finals, this could be the start of something as he eluded to on the camera lens writing:
“It all starts from Monte-Carlo”
Not only for Stefanos but this is where his mum won a junior title back in 1981.