Opelka stuns Tsitsipas to reach National Bank Open final
The win of his life – and a shock for the world No 3 – as an unseeded American heads to his maiden Masters 1000 final
- What happened: The USA’s Reilly Opelka secured the biggest win of his life against the world No 3.
- You will also learn: How Opelka is looking to emulate compatriots Andy Roddick and Chris Woodruff with success in the Canadian Open.
- Why you should read this article: This will be his first-ever Masters 1000 final.
Reilly Opelka reached the National Bank Open final courtesy of a shock 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas – looking to extend his own ATP Tour-leading record to 46 wins so far this calendar year – got thoroughly hot under the collar in the Toronto heat after taking the first set in a tie-break.
The Greek double-faulted to hand Opelka two set points, and after hitting a poor backhand to bring on the decider, he proceeded to throw his racket to the ground in frustration.
The clock ticked past two hours and there still had not been a break of serve – until the seventh game of the third set, when Opelka used his backhand to tremendous effect to pile the pressure on a nervy Tsitsipas and got the break he needed.
The last American to win this trophy was Andy Roddick, in 2003; prior to that, in 1997 Chris Woodruff won the title, with compatriot Michael Chang reaching the semi-finals.
Tsitsipas reached the final previously in 2018, beating Kevin Anderson, Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem as an unseeded player.
Their head-to-head looked more emphatic than it actually was, with the Greek holding a 100 per cent record. In fact, they had only ever met once before, in the Cincinnati (New York) quarter-finals last year, when Tsitsipas progressed after Opelka’s first-set retirement.
He will face the winner of the second semi-final between top seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia and another American, John Isner.