MONTE CARLO, Principality of Monaco, Apr 13 — An inspired Stefanos Tsitsipas handed Jannik Sinner his second loss of the season today as the two-time champion reached the Monte Carlo Masters final 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The Greek’s victory ended the nine-match winning streak of the Australian Open champion who also has title wins in Rotterdam and Miami to his name this season.

Tsitsipas will play tomorrow’s final against either top seed Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud who meet in the second semi-final.

“Today was a great day, I’m hoping for a good recovery and a fresh mind,” said Tsitsipas. “I hope to come out extra strong tomorrow.”

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World number two Sinner began the final set, during which he was twice treated on his right knee by the trainer, with a break of serve.

But he lost it in the eighth game after saving four break points which allowed Tsitsipas to level at 4-4.

The Greek then finished it off by playing what he called “tennis at the highest level that I’ve been able to play recently”.

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Tsitsipas, ranked 12th, won the title here in 2021 and 2022 and declared he is returning to top form after falling out of the top 10.

“It will help my confidence to have a win like this,” he said. “I’m aiming for the top level again.”

Tsitsipas secured the opening set with a break in the third game, but the Italian put up a fight to level in the second.

Sinner broke on the way to a 3-0 lead and fought to save five break points in a 13-minute marathon final game before squaring the match on his second set point.

“Jannik has been very consistent, he’s the toughest I’ve faced this season,” said Tsitsipas.

“I had to overcome obstacles and find a way to win.

“I’m extremely proud of that. Jannik gave me a difficult game. But the way I managed the situation was pure excellence.” — AFP