TORONTO — Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest player to beat four straight top-10 players in an event since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990, outlasting Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (7) on Saturday to reach the Rogers Cup final.
Tsitsipas, who will be 20 on Sunday, will face the winner of the late match between top-ranked Rafael Nadal and Karen Khachanov.
“Playing in a Masters 1000 final is the best thing that can happen on your birthday,” Tsitsipas said. “I cannot believe it.”
Tsitsipas beat the fourth-seeded Anderson after topping seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem, ninth-seeded Novak Djokovic and second-seeded defending champion Alexander Zverev to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal.
“I’m capable of doing anything on the court and beating any opponent,” Tsitsipas said.
Tsitsipas fired an ace at 7-7 before converting his third match point of the deciding tiebreaker when Anderson’s return sailed long. The South African had a match point of his own at 7-6, but Tsitsipas came through with a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner to pull even.
“I’m secure and I’m aggressive at the same time,” Tsitsipas said. “It feels like I’m never losing it. I’m always there. It doesn’t matter what the score is.”
The 32-year-old Anderson reached the Wimbledon final last month. He also lost his only other match against Tsitsipas, falling this year on clay in Portugal.
“I think the biggest thing I was impressed with was definitely his mentality,” Anderson said. “He stayed pretty solid throughout the match. Today, he definitely deserved to win.”
Tsitsipas is attempting to become the first player since Albert Portas at Hamburg in 2001 to win his first ATP World Tour title at a Masters 1000 event. Ranked 27th, Tsitsipas would jump 12th with a victory Sunday and to 15th with a loss when the new rankings are released Monday.
Nadal beat Tsitsipas in April in the Barcelona Open final.
Halep pushes into Montreal final
MONTREAL — A weary Simona Halep, upset over how her matches are scheduled, beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the final Rogers Cup final.
The top-ranked Romanian will play for the title Sunday against the third-ranked Sloane Stephens in a rematch of Halep’s victory in the French Open final.
Stephens, preparing for her U.S. Open title defense, beat fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.
Halep reached the Rogers Cup final for the third time in four years. She won the last time it was in Montreal in 2016.
Halep complained Friday about playing the first semifinal day after two straight night matches. She contended she has the worst schedule in the 56-player event and “this happens almost every tournament.”
Despite playing on only 15 hours rest, Halep was in control from the outset against the 15th-seeded Barty, eliminating the Australian in 71 minutes.
“I was very sore when I woke up,” Halep said. “During the match, it’s not easy to run so much. But, you know, I just tried to focus on what I have to play and, to make it a little bit easier, which I did in the end, was to finish it early.”
Halep played four matches in three days after a night session was postponed because of rain.
“I think I talked enough about it,” she said. “I hope in the future it’s going to be better. I was upset. I am upset. But doesn’t change my performance on court.”
The Romanian broke Barty in the opening game and broke again for a 4-1 lead en route to taking the first set. Halap broke twice more to open the second set.
“I think I played smart tennis today,” Halep said. “I pushed her very back on her backhand, then I could just receive a shorter ball, an easier ball for me to open the court.”
Halep is 6-2 against Stephens, winning the last five matches.
“She’s playing good tennis,” Halep said. “To make a final of another tournament is incredible.”