Defending champion Rublev out of Monte Carlo

Andrey Rublev

Defending champion Rublev out of Monte Carlo

In an unexpected turn of events at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev, the defending champion, suffered a defeat to Alexei Popyrin with scores of 6-4, 6-4 in their second-round match on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner, ranked second worldwide, smoothly advanced past his first challenge of the tournament.

Andrey Rublev

Popyrin managed an early break in the match, leading to his victory in the first set. Despite Rublev gaining a lead in the second set, Popyrin quickly countered, eventually securing his spot in the third round for the first time. Rublev had previously been given a pass to the second round.

Popyrin shared his strategy post-match, emphasizing his effort to disrupt Rublev’s rhythm by varying the pace, height, and spin of his returns, acknowledging Rublev’s skill at baseline play when in rhythm.

Next, Popyrin is set to compete against his fellow countryman, Alex de Minaur, who overcame Tallon Griekspoor in a match that ended 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Jannik Sinner, having recently secured his first major title at the Australian Open and victories at the Miami and Rotterdam Opens, continued his winning streak with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Sebastian Korda of the United States. Sinner, who had lost to Korda in a previous encounter, will face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the following round.

Daniil Medvedev, the tournament’s fourth seed from Russia, also advanced after a challenging match against Gael Monfils, finishing 6-2, 6-4. Despite trailing in the second set, Medvedev mounted a comeback, overcoming a heated dispute with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani over a contentious call.

Medvedev expressed his frustration during the match but later sought to regain his composure, acknowledging his aim to maintain calm in such situations throughout the year. Despite disagreeing with the call, he was pleased to have rallied from behind to win.

Casper Ruud, the Norwegian eighth seed, moved into the third round after defeating Alejandro Tabilo of Chile with scores of 6-2, 6-4. His next opponent will be Hubert Hurkacz, who secured his advancement with a win against Roberto Bautista Agut in a closely contested match.

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