Tsitsipas reaches the Toronto final, upsets Anderson

FROM TORONTO – Here’s your introduction to Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has now reached the ATP 1000 Finals in Toronto. Maybe tennis fans knew that eventually he would would take his place at the top 20, but almost out of nowhere, he ha emerged.
In the last six days, he beat the No. 8 Dominic Thiem, former No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the defending titlist Alex Zverev and now, the No. 6, Kevin Anderson.

One year ago, he was ranked No. 168. On Sunday, he will be ranked No. 15 in the ATP Rankings and, if he wins the title, on Monday, he will be ranked No. 12.

“I couldn’t achieve anything better in one tournament, beating all those high-ranked players, playing amazing tennis,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m pretty sure the crowd didn’t expect that. I personally didn’t expect that.”

On Sunday, it will be happy birthday for Tsitsipas, who will turn 20 years old. He may be tired, or maybe not, but still, he will battle during the final because he is very happy that thousands of fans will come out and find out who exactly who is.
Still, there are many questions. Can he crush his first serve? Can we wallop his forehand? Can he put heavy spin in his one-hand backhand? Does he hustle? Does he think? He is pretty young, but he is showing real signs of understanding the game.

He was facing Anderson. In the third-set tiebreak, he held three match points. At 5-4, he ripped his forehand down the line for a winner. At 6-4, match point, he double faulted. Ugh. At 6-5, his forehand went long. At 6-6, he missed another forehand. He shook his head. Anderson was a point away at 7-6. But, Tsitsipas, as Anderson said, “Came up with an unbelievable backhand crosscourt winner.” Tsitsipas aced him, and in his last point, at 8-7, Anderson folded it, when he made an error. See ya.

Tsitsipas won 6-7 6-4 7-6 (7). A very happy man.

“I was very impressed with the way he played, some of the bigger points of the match. Because I felt like I quite a few opportunities,” Anderson said. “I mean, even in the third, a couple of times I was at deuce. The one game he was up 40-love, I played three really good points to get it back to deuce to sort of get a sniff in the game, and he ends up hitting two aces. So those are the kind of points that he played very well.

“I think the biggest thing I was impressed with was definitely his mental. He played pretty solid throughout the match. So today he definitely deserved to win.”

Tsitsipas is finally aggressive now but still keeping cosistent. Last year, he could get angry and lose it. However, even after he double faults, or pushing it into the net, he moves on and continues to see where he is and what he has to do. He is doing than now, here in Toronto.

“I’m never losing it. I’m always there. It doesn’t matter what the score. I’m always going to attack. I’m always going to go to the ball, maybe even approach after my shot. And I feel like my forehand is on fire at this moment,” Tsitsipas said. “Hopefully it can remain like this tomorrow because it will be super important for me, the win tomorrow.”

He will face Rafa Nadal, who took down Karen Khachanov, in the final.

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