tOlympic champion Alexander Zverev already failed in the round of 16 of the Masters 1000 tournament in his adopted homeland of Monte Carlo. The 26-year-old lost his third-round match against Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday despite a remarkable comeback in the second set 5:7, 6:7 (3:7). For Jan-Lennard Struff it was also the end of the round of 16 after a 4:6, 2:6 against Australian Open winner Jannik Sinner from Italy.

In their fifteenth direct duel at the Court of Princes, Zverev and Tsitsipas played a close first set in which small details made the difference. Tsitsipas, who has not yet been in top form this year, was a little more determined in the rallies than his German rival.

Tsitsipas calls it an “adventure”

At the beginning of the second round, Zverev once again carelessly missed the opportunity to break early, and an inexplicable collapse followed. With a double break and confident service games, Tsitsipas advanced to 5-0. With nothing left to lose, Germany's best player found his way back into the game. He fended off two match points and, among other things, forced his opponent into a tiebreaker by winning five games in a row.

There he again made too many mistakes and suffered his tenth defeat against the 2023 Australian Open finalist after 2:07 hours. Later, Tsitsipas spoke of an “adventure” and said that he does not experience a game like this “every day.” The Greek said the match was “very unusual”: “I'm just trying to find out what happened.”

Zverev, a native of Hamburg, missed his third quarterfinal appearance in Monte Carlo after 2018 and 2022, on his mother's birthday. Tsitsipas will next face Russian Karen Khachanow, who surprisingly defeated fourth-seeded compatriot Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Thursday.

Struff initially held his own against heavy favorite Sinner on the Rainier III court, but then the world number two from Italy showed more and more of his class. Sinner also continues to triumph in the arena. The sporting highlight of the clay court season is the French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, which begins in Paris at the end of May.