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Tsitsipas rockets into Last 16



Stefanos Tsitsipas takes out Russian Aslan Karatsev with ease. / Valery HACHE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MONACO, Principality of Monaco (AFP) — Stefanos Tsitsipas made a winning start to the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday after the world No. 5 cruised past Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4 and into the Last 16.

Greek Tsitsipas, who had been given a bye into the second round, took just one hour and 24 minutes to beat 29th-ranked Russian Karatsev.

The 22-year-old exploited a whopping 32 unforced errors from Karatsev to set up a clash with either Australian John Millman or Chile’s Cristian Garin.

Novak Djokovic meanwhile will face Jannik Sinner in his second round match after the up-and-coming Italian saw off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Teenager Sinner has risen to 22nd in the world rankings after reaching the final of the Miami Open earlier this month.

“I will definitely have a game plan,” Sinner said of what will be his first meeting with Djokovic.

“I know who is on the other side. Obviously it’s a tough match I think from my side, because I don’t know him that well. I have seen him a lot on TV, watching matches. But when you play against him in a match, it’s different. I’m looking forward to that match.”

Sinner, one of five Italians to reach the second round Tuesday in Monte Carlo, is 15-5 this year but is competing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for just the fourth time.

“It’s a good test for my side to see where I am, especially where I can improve,” he added. “I know where I can improve, but this kind of match can give me a lot. I just try to go there with the right mentality like in every match.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Daniil Medvedev pulled out of the tournament after testing positive for Covid-19.

World No. 2 Medvedev tested positive on Monday having practised with Rafael Nadal the day before.

Organizers, contacted by AFP, declined to comment on whether third seed Nadal risked being identified as a “close contact” of Medvedev and forced to quarantine.

Nadal is seeded to meet Djokovic in the final as he chases a 12th triumph in Monte Carlo, a key clay court tournament in the run up to the French Open.