Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates victory in his men’s singles quarterfinals match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 10 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 17, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CAMERON SPENCER
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates victory in his men’s singles quarterfinals match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 10 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 17, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CAMERON SPENCER

Mumbai — Stefanos Tsitsipas says he had a little extra motivation to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title against Andrey Rublev on Sunday as he was keen to join his mother on the honour roll at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

Tsitsipas lost both his previous Masters finals but defeated Russian Rublev 6-3 6-3 to win the title without dropping a set at the clay court tournament.

The 22-year-old told reporters he was six when he came to the club for the first time with his mother, Julia Salnikova, who won a junior title at the same venue in 1981. His mother also played in the Fed Cup for the Soviet Union and reached a career-high ranking of 130.

“She showed me that name up there. I was ... stunned. I was like, ‘Wow, that is really cool. How cool is that?’

“I didn’t think about it in the beginning of the tournament, but it came to my mind when I was playing the semifinals. I was thinking that would be really cool to be in this together, like mother like son.

“That’s where the whole purpose came from. I feel like there was an enormous amount of willingness to want to do more in order to be there with my mom.”

Top seed Novak Djokovic and 11-time Monte Carlo winner Rafa Nadal fell early in the tournament, opening the door to a new Masters champion.

“I stepped up my game, brought this good game, good tennis. I didn’t see no reason for me to leave from here without the trophy. I felt like I deserved it,” he said.

“I’ve put so much effort and so much concentration into it. Definitely something that I deserve. More opportunities like this is going to show up and come up in the future, so I need to be ready to show my consistency and prevail with that.”

Reuters

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