Tsitsipas, Rublev and new winds in tennis

Rublev celebrates his triumph against Ruud, this Saturday in Monte Carlo.

The wind is noticeable in Monte Carlo, where the currents drive two of the young people called to set the pace in the medium term, if not sooner rather than later, who knows. They are Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, two talents that appear, strike and stand out, cited this Sunday for the Principality title (14.30, #Vamos) after beating Daniel Evans (6-2 and 6-1) and Casper Ruud ( 6-3 and 7-5), respectively. One of them, then, will raise his first trophy of a Masters 1000 in an appointment that opens the door to the vaunted generational change, pre-announced for years and that does not finish consolidating because the old guard continues to dominate the circuit. Or not so much.

Despite the fact that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic continue to share the cake of the greats almost exclusively, the second category of tournaments begins to give way to the new batch. A new champion will emerge from Monte Carlo, be it Greek or Russian, and surprisingly the headliners have been disappearing: the Swiss, limping on his right knee for a year and heading towards 40, did not even attend; the Spaniard yielded against Rublev, apparently determined to make a place for himself on the noble floor; and the Serb gave a blow in the opening against Evans, who until then had only won four matches on clay.

It will, therefore, be the third consecutive final of a Masters 1000 without the presence of any of the three Tenors, absent in Paris-Bercy (Medvedev-Zverev), Miami (Hurkacz-Sinner) and now in the Monegasque event (Tsitsipas-Rublev). This has not happened since 2016, when for one reason or another they disappeared from the final lineup in Cincinnati (Cilic-Murray), Shanghai (Murray-Bautista) and Bercy (Murray-Isner). Consequently, the development seems to be a nod to the new times that are reluctant to arrive, but which are now arriving. The youth definitely want to speak and both Tsitsipas and Rublev emerge as two capital elements.

Despite having been born a year before the Russian, the Greek has fully established himself among the best and will play his third final of a 1000, after having fallen in Montreal in 2018 (Nadal), and Madrid a year later (Djokovic ). More and more fact, in his file there are four minor titles (Stockholm, Marseille twice and Estoril) and the 2019 Masters Cup, but his projection invites us to think that in the not too distant future he will win his first Grand Slam. In any case, the world’s five have a sweet tooth this Sunday after having a banquet against Evans, more than satisfied with his layout because he was not entering any pool.

He reduced the British in 69 minutes and without major complications, and will face Rublev, who corroborated the magnificent sensations he had left the previous day, when he knocked down Nadal with a more than considerable mental integrity. The Russian, advised on the bench by the Spanish Fernando Vicente, stopped the Norwegian Ruud, who had been offering very good tennis throughout the week, and confirmed that he is the most regular tennis player of the year with his 24th victory, for only four defeats. Since August he has won four individual awards (Hamburg, Saint Petersburg, Vienna and Rotterdam, plus the ATP Cup with Russia) and once again shows, like Tsitsipas, that they are players with a multifaceted profile and perform the same on hard as on clay.

In the face to face between the two, the precedents indicate draws: 3-3, with distribution also on clay; the Russian won last year in the Hamburg arena and the Greek in the Roland Garros arena. Rublev’s rising line will lead him to overtake Federer on the list next Monday, placing himself in seventh position, while Tsitsipas has the opportunity to hit the table and launch a warning in the direction of the big appointment in Paris (of the May 30 to June 13). In any case, with them in the front line next to the Medvedev (25), Zverev (23), Berrettini (24), Shapovalov (21) or Sinner (19), and the Mussetti (19) or Alcaraz (17) ), men’s tennis is heading towards the definitive turning of the page.

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