Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled off another upset at the Rogers Cup by outlasting fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (7) in men’s semifinal play Saturday at Aviva Centre.
Tsitsipas fired an ace at 7-7 before converting his third match point of the deciding tiebreaker when Anderson’s return sailed long. The South African had a match point of his own at 7-6, but Tsitsipas delivered a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner to pull even.
Tsitsipas, who will turn 20 on Sunday, will next play the winner of the evening semifinal between top-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain and Russia’s Karen Khachanov.
By topping Anderson, the 27th-ranked Tsitsipas became the youngest player to beat four top-10 opponents in one tournament since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990. He defeated Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev earlier in the week.
It will be the teenager’s first career appearance in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final.
Under a blazing afternoon sun, Tsitsipas and Anderson relied on their strong service games in the opening set on the showcase hardcourt.
Tsitsipas picked up a mini-break in the first-set tiebreaker but Anderson stormed back to take six points in a row, helped in part by three misses from his opponent.
At 1-1 in the second set, Tsitsipas won a long rally at deuce and completed the break when Anderson pushed a return wide. Anderson had a chance to pull even but couldn’t convert two break-point opportunities at 3-4 as Tsitsipas refused to buckle.
Tsitsipas went on to hold at love to force a deciding set.
Anderson, 32, reached the Wimbledon final last month and holds the No. 6 spot in the world rankings. He dropped his lone previous meeting to Tsitsipas earlier this year in Portugal on clay.
Tsitsipas will move into the top 15 in the world rankings when the new list is released next week.
Khachanov, the world No. 38, hadn’t lost a set this week entering his match against Nadal, who has won this tournament on three occasions.
In the early doubles semifinal, Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand defeated the top-seeded duo of Austria’s Oliver Marach and Croatia’s Mate Pavic 4-6, 7-6 (5), 10-3.
Croatia’s Nikola Mektic and Austria’s Alexander Peya were to play second-seeded Henri Kontinen of Finland and Australian John Peers in the evening.
Canadian doubles great Daniel Nestor was scheduled to be inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in a ceremony before the late semifinal. Nestor, from Toronto, plans to retire later this season.
Play wraps up Sunday at the US$5.94-million tournament on the York University campus.