Two-time champion Stefanos Tsitsipas quickly hit his comfort zone, with the Greek pounding Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2 on Friday to book the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals.

The 2021 and 2022 title winner broke to start the quarter-final and was never threatened by an underdone opponent who took treatment on a left upper thigh problem late in the opening set.

Tsitsipas said that good memories from his pair of trophy performances here at the Mediterranean venue gave him an added layer of confidence.

“I re-live those memories every time I play on this centre court,” the 12th seed said. “I’m striving for excellence in my game.

“The clay swing is only a certain time and I try to make the most of it. Spring in Europe is one of the best seasons of the year.”

Tsitsipas advanced with 20 winners and 13 unforced errors in 83 minutes.

Though he now owns Khachanov 8-1, Tsitsipas was taking nothing for granted on court as he reached his 16th career Masters semi-final.

“It’s a big match every time I play him,” the winner said. “He never gives me an easy task.. I approached the match with seriousness and humility

“This clay court always reminds me of my origins and feelings on the clay.

“It worked out pretty well for me: I took my time to try and understand what was working.

“I was persistent and walked away with something good (a win).”