Stefanos Tsitsipas sends a warning to the rest of ATP after defeating Casper Ruud

Tsitsipas won the Monte-Carlo Masters for the third time in four years.
Julian Finney/GettyImages

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the king of the Monte-Carlo Masters. After dismantling Casper Ruud in the final on Sunday, Tsitsipas has now won the event in three of the last four years. The Greek also doesn't just skate by, either. Instead, he plays every match as if he is the best player on clay while whipping his one-handed backhand by his helpless opponents.

Tsitsipas has one more title in his career on hard courts than he does on clay, but he has also played many more events on hard courts. His win percentage is much better overall on clay. This makes him a danger during this part of the year and is capable of winning any tournament he enters, including the French Open in May.

For much of the last six months, the Greek has been dealing with injuries, especially to his back. Those kinds of issues can be debilitating to a tennis player. This was also how Tsitsipas ended up outside the top 10 after being a mainstay near the top for several years. His ability was never in question, however. He was simply being robbed of the capability of playing his best due to being hurt.

Stefanos Tsitsipas defeats Casper Ruud to win the Monte-Carlo Masters

Tsitsipas could also have played better against Ruud which means the rest of the ATP may not be seeing the Greek at his best yet. He struggled with his first serve, even while taking the first set 6-1. He relied on his second serve and for Ruud to make unforced errors to pull ahead in the match. Many of those errors from Ruud were because he was being forced into trying shots he wasn't comfortable with to try to equal the score.

Still, the second set did tighten up quite a bit as Tistsipas simply could not put away Ruud at the beginning. The Norwegian is a good, but not great player, who is also better on clay than other surfaces. He has the ability to just hang around and be a nuisance. Had Tsitsipas been more consistent with his forehand and first serve, the match would have been much shorter.

But when the match reached its pinnacle, and after each player had held serve until Tsitsipas had a 5-4 lead in the third set, his poise and hammer of a backhand pushed him through to get a break of Ruud and get a 6-1 6-4 victory. There is no reason to rule the Greek out of any event for the next two months. A rise back close to the top five on the ATP tour should also be expected.

More tennis news and analysis