(Reuters) – Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas slayed another tennis giant on Saturday, saving a match point as he toppled big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(7) in a thriller to reach the Rogers Cup final.
Aug 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) returns a ball to Kevin Anderson (not pictured) during the semi finals in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tsitsipas dropped his racket and screamed in front of a frenzied crowd after world number six Anderson sent a backhand long on match point. It was the world number 27’s fourth consecutive win over a top 10 opponent at the tournament.
Tsitsipas dispatched Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in the previous three rounds before battling back to send the Wimbledon runner-up packing on a sun-soaked day in Toronto.
Tsitsipas will play his first ATP Masters 1000 final on his 20th birthday on Sunday against either Rafael Nadal or Karen Khachanov, who will play their semi-final match later on Saturday.
“It never gets easier. You just get better,” Tsitsipas wrote on a camera after the match.
Fourth seed Anderson was unable to break Tsitsipas’ serve on any of his four opportunities and saw his lone match point opportunity vanish when Tsitsipas smoked a backhand crosscourt winner in the third set tiebreak.
Tsitsipas, who stood well back of the baseline when receiving Anderson’s blistering serves, managed the only service break of the game in the third game of the second set with an overhead smash.
With the win, Tsitsipas is projected to climb to at least number 15 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Pritha Sarkar