Stefanos Tsitsipas said 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 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 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 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 Monte Carlo winner Rafa 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,” 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]