Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday said that he had a little extra motivation to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title against Andrey Rublev, as he was keen to join his mother on the honor roll at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.
Tsitsipas had 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 visited 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 No. 130.
“She showed me that name up there. I was ... stunned. I was like: ‘Wow, that is really cool. How cool is that?’” Tsitsipas said. “I didn’t think about it in the beginning of the tournament, but it came to my mind when I was playing the semi-finals. 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 winner Rafael Nadal fell early in Monte Carlo, 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,” Tsitsipas 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.”
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