TORONTO, CANADA – Reilly Opelka broke new ground on Saturday (Aug 14), edging third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to reach the final of the ATP Toronto Masters.
The towering American, who turns 24 this month, will play on Sunday in the first Masters final of his career, taking on the winner from top-seeded Daniil Medvedev and big-hitting American John Isner.
Opelka overcame Tsitsipas with 46 winners to 23 for the Greek. He blasted 17 aces in the match lasting two and a half hours to notch his first victory over a top-five opponent.
“I’ve played great from the first round against a lot of adversity,” said Opelka, who ousted Australian Nick Kyrgios in the first round.
“There are no easy draws at Masters 1000s, every match is a nightmare.
“But I’ve got a lot of confidence going and I’ve carried it through each match. I’m putting pressure on guys with my serve and they can feel it. They know I won’t give many free points away on my serve.”
Tsitsipas held his own until late in the third set, when Opelka broke for a 4-3 lead.
The American finished off the upset three games later with an overhead smash on his first match point.
“He prevailed, it just didn’t go my way,” Tsitsipas said.
“But there is hope for next time, it’s all right.
“I struggled with my serve, it was obvious. When you get no rhythm it’s difficult. It silently ruins your game.
“There was nothing I was afraid of today, but I was missing shots in the rallies and missing opportunities. That’s what cost me in the end.”
Tsitsipas, ranked third in the world behind Novak Djokovic and Medvedev, still leads the ATP with 45 match wins this season, with Djokovic trailing on 36.