Clasper Ruud beats Novak Djokovic to make it to the Monte Carlo final
Clasper Ruud beats Novak Djokovic to make it to the Monte Carlo final

Novak Djokovic finally lost to Casper Ruud on Saturday at the Monte Carlo Masters. Ruud beat the top-ranked Serb 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to set up a final match with two-time winner Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Jannik Sinner was tired when Tsitsipas beat him in the earlier match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. It was only Sinner’s second loss of the season.

Djokovic double-faulted on match point, and Ruud beat him. It was his first loss in six matches. Even in last year’s French Open final, the Norwegian player had never won a set against Djokovic.
In the final set, Djokovic was down 4-1, but he held his next serve and broke Ruud’s serve to love, making it 4-3.

At 15–15 in the eighth game, Djokovic turned around and yelled at someone in the crowd. Chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani told fans not to yell during a rally, but he didn’t say anything to Djokovic when he used an expletive, which was followed by an angry look.

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In the final set, the 10th game was a mess, and Djokovic was down love-40 on serve. Ruud, the 8th seed, won on his third match point.

Ruud and Tsitsipas, who is ranked 12, are both trying to win their first titles of the year and 11th total.

In 2024, Sinner has won three titles. In the final set, he was ahead 4–3 against Tsitsipas and had a service game coming up. During the changeover, he did call for a medical break, and a trainer massaged his right knee and thigh. Things got more serious in the next game when Tsitsipas broke Sinner’s serve on the fifth try to tie the match. Sinner was smiling as he told the trainer a joke.

Sinner limped a little and grabbed the thigh area of his left leg at the end of the next game. He then had massages on both legs. In the next game, he had trouble moving around, and Tsitsipas won on his first match point when Sinner’s backhand from the back of the court went long because he was trying to keep his balance.

“He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far, and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that,” he said.

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Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and other actors from the tennis movie “Challengers” were at Monte Carlo Country Club enjoying the sun. Sinner felt at home when Italian fans crossed the nearby border, but Tsitsipas had a lot of support after winning the event twice in 2021 and 2022.

In a strong first set, Tsitsipas broke Sinner and held for 3-1. He did this by using angles well to mess up Sinner’s more regular play.

On both sides, the level of tension rose in the second set. In the 13-minute ninth game, the second-seeded Sinner held to tie the match after saving five break points.

In the first game of the final set, he beat Tsitsipas and held strong.

Now, it looked more and more likely that there would be another final. Sinner was having a good time. He smiled at his coaches after making a risky sliced drop shot that won him a point in the fifth game.

But Tsitsipas, who beat Djokovic in five sets in the 2021 French Open final, kept going even when Sinner started to fade. This is something he does very well.

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