Stefanos Tsitsipas produces ‘great tennis’ in tricky conditions to ease past Fabio Fognini

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action

Stefanos Tsitsipas kicked off the defence of his Monte Carlo Masters title with an impressive win over Fabio Fognini and admitted afterwards that “I performed to my best”.

The Greek was quick out of the blocks before being pegged back slightly by Fognini, but he eventually crushed the Italian 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 10 minutes at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

The third seed raced into a 3-0 lead with a break in game two, but Fognini was level on serve in game five. However, that was as good as it got for the veteran as Tsitsipas claimed a second break in game eight and then bagelled the 2019 Monte Carlo champion in the second set.

“Great tennis out there. It’s never easy to adjust to the cold and windy conditions … but I came through very well and performed to my best,” the world No 5 said.

“You are used to the ball bouncing more on clay but there was less of that today … But I was able to generate pace and create good angles.”

Up next is either 16th seed Lorenzo Sonego or Laslo Dere.

Indian Wells Open champion Taylor Fritz also advanced, but the 10th seeded American had to fight for his win over Lucas Catarina as he beat the Monégasque wildcard 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. His reward is a third-round clash against Marin Cilic.

Former world No 3 Grigor Dimitrov also went the distance as he defeated Dusa Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.