WATCH: Sinner is into his third career Masters quarterfinal, and first outside of Miami.

A young star was predicted to make a splash at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but while Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz was unable to secure a rare Miami-Monte Carlo double, Jannik Sinner reclaimed the Next Gen spotlight with an impressive comeback over Andrey Rublev, dispatching the 2021 finalist, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.

Trailing the 2021 finalist by a set and a break, Sinner struck a vein of scintillating form to thrill a large Italian contingent in the crowd and reach the quarterfinals after two hours and 22 minutes.

The Monte-Carlo Country Club undoubtedly holds fond memories for Rublev: at last year’s event, he enjoyed a breakthrough victory over 11-time champion Rafael Nadal en route to his first Masters 1000 final.

Looking poised to dominate the subsequent clay-court swing, the Russian seemingly hit a wall after a quarterfinal defeat to Sinner in Barcelona and ultimately bowed out in the first round of Roland Garros. Rebounding to reach a second Masters final in Cincinnati, Rublev rediscovered his peak form after the Australian Open, winning back-to-back titles in Marseille and Dubai, ending a 13-match winning streak at the BNP Paribas Open semifinals.

Where Rublev has played plenty of matches the last few months, Sinner has struggled for momentum of late, dealing with injuries that took him out of Indian Wells and Miami despite strong starts at both. Despite ending the 2021 season with four titles and an appearance at the ATP Finals in Turin, the Italian wunderkind, still just 20 years old, has found himself nearly eclipsed by Miami Open champ Alcaraz in the perennial “Next Big Thing” conversation—making Monte Carlo an important event as he aimed to make only his third Masters quarterfinal.


Rublev, who rallied from a set down to defeat Alex de Minaur in his first match on Wednesday, opened with a break in the very first game and shook off a late surge by Sinner from 5-3 down to reclaim his advantage and take the opening set on his third opportunity.

Down an identical break to start the second, Sinner would take control of the match from there, reeling off six straight games to level the match to the delight of a pro-Italian crowd—and the chagrin of an increasingly frustrated No. 5 seed.

Sinner, seeded ninth and fresh off his own three-set win over Borna Coric earlier this week, emerged from an exchange of breaks in the ensuing decider with a commanding 5-3 lead. As “JAN-NIK!” cheers echoed across Court Rainier III, the youngster unleashed a trio of winners—a phenomenal forehand pass in between two big backhand returns—to book his place in the last eight.

Awaiting him there is No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev, who navigated a tense second set to defeat Pablo Carreño Busta, 6-2, 7-5 earlier in the afternoon. Though Zverev has won two of their three matches, Sinner can lay claim to their only encounter on clay, which came at Roland Garros in 2020 and helped him reach his first major quarterfinal.