Jannik Sinner put down a mature performance at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, dropping his first set of the week but playing through a rowdy atmosphere to edge past rival Holger Rune, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 and reach his third straight Masters 1000 semifinal.

The No. 2 seed won his second straight match against Rune, who drew the crowd’s ire for perceived on-court antics, and improved to 25-1 in 2024 after two hours and 39 minutes on Court Rainier III.

Though Rune came into the second quarterfinal of the day with a winning head-to-head (2-1), Sinner claimed the most recent victory at the Nitto ATP Finals and can rightly consider himself the most in-form player of the season, compiling a 24-1 record through his first five tournaments. The world No. 2 was yet to drop a set in Monte Carlo, ceding a combined nine games to Sebastian Korda and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Rune, by contrast, has struggled to meet the lofty standard he often set last season in 2024, enduring second-round losses at the Australian Open and Miami Open—both tournaments Sinner went on to win. A finalist in Monte Carlo last year—where he defeated Sinner en route—the 20-year-old was forced into double duty after rain delayed the end of his second-round clash with Sumit Nagal; after defeating the Indian trailblazer in three sets, Rune went even longer against Grigor Dimitrov, saving two match points to defeat the Miami Open finalist in a third-set tiebreaker as the sun set on Thursday.

Despite the quick turnaround, the No. 7 seed, who is also still alive in doubles alongside Taylor Fritz, put on an admirable challenge against Sinner, with just one break determining the first set. The Italian looked sharp as ever on key points, striking a near even seven winners to six unforced errors while Rune took more chances but also made more mistakes with 11 of each.


The second set similarly went with serve, Rune digging out of a 0-40 deficit to keep in front and threaten to force a deciding set.

Sinner served well from behind, leveling the set at five games apiece and making in-roads on the return. Meanwhile Rune was unraveling across the net, picking up a time violation and a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting the booing crowd.

A protracted argument took place between Rune and supervisor Cédric Mourier, who has been put through the paces this week after another incident involving Daniil Medvedev. When play resumed, a netted backhand from Rune put the Dane down 0-40 for a second time.

Somehow, Rune settled as Sinner struggled with his range, saving all three break chances to stay alive in the increasingly contentious clash and ultimately send the set into a Sudden Death.

Rune has won his last eight tiebreakers—including two on Thursday against Dimitrov—and looked to have snapped a streak of 13 straight points on serve, but Damien Dumusois overruled a Sinner shot on the baseline that electronic replay deemed out.

Even at the change of ends, Sinner nearly quelled the combustible Rune with a backhand pass to score the first mini-break, and earned a pair of match points off an unreturnable serve. Rune saved both, one with a roaring forehand winner reminiscent of Novak Djokovic, and struck a big serve of his own to earn a first set point. A brittle backhand from Sinner sent the match into a deciding set.

Rune was first to make a move as the third set got underway, striking an impressive winner to earn a break chance in the fifth game only to err off a drop shot attempt to keep Sinner in the lead. In trouble on his own serve three games later, Rune made a much better drop shot but could only watch as Sinner nailed a return winner for two break chances. A rattled rune threw in a double fault and Sinner was suddenly serving for the match.

Just about 45 minutes after his last match points, Sinner made no mistakes when he earned his next and clinched the dramatic encounter with one last big serve.

Joining Sinner in the semifinals is two-time champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who opened play on Friday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 15 seed Karen Khachanov (Tsitsipas leads 5-3 overall; Sinner leads 2-1 since 2023).