Stefanos Tsitsipas to face Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo Masters final

Dan Evans's brilliant run comes to an end with comprehensive defeat by Tsitsipas

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 17: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates victory in the semi-final match against Dan Evans of Great Britain on day seven of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 17, 2021 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Sporting stadiums around Monaco remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Fourth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas eased past 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.

The big-serving Greek’s opponent will be sixth-seed Russian Andrey Rublev, who beat unseeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-5. He aims for his second title of the year and ninth overall.

"I am indeed pleased with the performance," said Tsitsipas after his win. "I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match."

"It's a dream of mine to be playing in the final," he added.

Rublev advanced to his first Masters 1000 final, ensuring there was no letdown after his elimination of 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

"It is an amazing feeling. It is my first [ATP Masters 1000] final, so I am really happy," said Rublev.

"We will see what is going to happen. I will try to do my best."

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

Tsitsipas, a French Open semifinalist last year, broke his serve five times and remains 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.

Nevertheless it has been a superb week for Evans, who will equal his career-high ranking of 26 on Monday having proved to himself and the rest of the tennis world that he can be a threat to the best on clay.

Evans said: "It's been a good week. It's been pretty long. It's been mentally pretty draining. Obviously you can't say it's bad to beat the world number one, but it was a lot.

"Today was difficult. Obviously it doesn't help the way he plays. He's very aggressive. So there's still work to be done. I can't be negative about today. Just have to park that and go again really.

"It's been a great week. I won't ever forget beating Novak, world number one. Yesterday to back it up in a great match was good as well."

The 23-year-old Rublev produced an audacious display to defeat record 11-time champion 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.