Tsitsipas scalps Djokovic

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who turns 20 tomorrow, secured the biggest win of his career by overcoming Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Toronto Masters on Thursday. It is the latest in a breakthrough campaign where he has reached t
Stefanos Tsitsipas, who turns 20 tomorrow, secured the biggest win of his career by overcoming Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Toronto Masters on Thursday. It is the latest in a breakthrough campaign where he has reached the quarter-finals or better at seven ATP Tour events.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Greek teen plays 'best match of my career' to beat Serb & reach first Masters 1000 q-final

TORONTO • Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas is making a habit of upsetting the odds, after securing the biggest win of his career when he sent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic packing in the third round of the Toronto Masters with a stunning 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 victory on Thursday.

It was his second win over a seeded player in as many days. Tsitsipas, who turns 20 tomorrow, followed up his defeat of seventh seed Dominic Thiem of Austria by beating four-time champion and ninth seed Djokovic in their first meeting.

"This was the best match of my career," the 1.93m Tsitsipas said in his post-match interview. "I knew I was playing pretty good today. Losing the second set, it was tough to deal with. I had my opportunities and didn't use them.

"But I remained calm, I tried few things that I didn't try before. (The early break in the third set) was everything. It gave me the win at the end."

"It's a dream of any kid out there in this world, any kid who's playing tennis, to beat these kinds of players so I can call it the best moment of my life. I never expected to beat such a top-ranked player and such a highly respected player like Novak."

Tsitsipas, ranked 27th in the world, spent just over two hours in advancing to the first Masters 1000 quarter-final of his career.

"He played very well and deserved to win without a doubt," admitted Djokovic, who was competing in his first tournament since winning Wimbledon. "I just played not that great. I didn't return well. It wasn't that great a match."

For Tsitsipas, who arrived in Toronto fresh off a run to the semi-finals in Washington where he lost to German world No. 3 Alexander Zverev, the win is the latest in a breakthrough campaign where he has reached the quarter-finals or better at seven ATP Tour events.

Upset scenarios were, however, not in the plan of defending champion and second seed Zverev, who rolled over Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 while never facing a break point, to set up a quarter-final clash with Tsitsipas.

Top seed and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain battled past Swiss wild card Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6 (4) and will next meet Croat Marin Cilic, who took down Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2, for a place in the final four.

In Montreal, world No. 1 Simona Halep crushed seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in straight sets on Thursday at the WTA event just hours after delivering a three-hour victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The top-seeded Romanian took no prisoners against her American opponent, blitzing Williams 6-2, 6-2 in just 71 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.

Halep needed three gruelling sets to oust Russia's world No. 28, but had a much easier time against the veteran Williams, who has yet to win a title this year.

"It's never easy to play either of the Williams sisters and even though she was struggling, I knew I had to stay focused," the French Open champion said.

"She wasn't feeling great on the court and it definitely wasn't her best day. And I'm happy to be the quarter-finals now."

Halep next faces sixth seed Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia today, who overwhelmed former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-2.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2018, with the headline 'Tsitsipas scalps Djokovic'. Print Edition | Subscribe