Tennis: Teen spirit as Tsitsipas sinks Anderson in Toronto, will face world No. 1 and top seed Nadal in final

Tsitsipas of Greece in action against Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Tsitsipas of Greece in action against Kevin Anderson of South Africa.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TORONTO, CANADA (AFP) - Teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson on Saturday (Aug 11), advancing 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) to the final of the Toronto Masters.

The Greek, who turned 20 on Sunday, will aim for the title against top seed Rafael Nadal after saving a match point against Anderson.

Tsitsipas became the first player since 2014 to beat four top 10 players in a Masters 1000 event; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did it here in 2014.

He is the first unseeded finalist in Canada since Nicolas Kiefer in 2008.

Nadal said after beating Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in a match which ended after midnight local time: "I'm motivated every day when I wake up, there is always something to improve.

"I want to stay around for as long as possible (in tennis)."

The 32-year-old edged out the first set in a tie-breaker after a two-hour, rain-delayed start. In the second, he went about finishing up his business with a break in the third game on his way to the win in just over an hour and a quarter.

Tsitsipas, meanwhile, worked for two hours, 48 minutes to secure his upset of the hard-serving South African, with Anderson going down with 10 aces.

He will be playing his second ATP final after losing to Nadal on clay in Barcelona in the spring.

The youngster, who beat second seed Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals after also accounting for Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic in earlier rounds, advanced on his third match point.

The outcome was decided in a tight third-set tie-breaker, with Tsitsipas blowing his first two winning chances with a double-fault and a forehand error.

Anderson missed out on a match point of his own serve as Tsitsipas slammed over a backhand cross-court winner.

The winner saved all four break points he faced while breaking Anderson once in the afternoon struggle.

Victory assured Tsitsipas the 15th ranking after starting this week on 27th.

Nadal leads the all-time list of Masters 1000 titles on 32. He will be playing his 116th ATP final and stands two wins away from 80 trophies.