TORONTO: Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas secured the biggest win of his career when he sent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic packing in the third round of the Rogers Cup with a stunning 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Tsitsipas broke the ninth-seeded Serb’s serve early in the third set and held serve from there to reach his first career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final.
“It’s a dream of any kid out there in this world, any kid that’s playing tennis, to beat these kinds of players, so I can call it the best moment of my life,” a shocked Tsitsipas said in an on-court interview. “I never expected to beat such a top-ranked player and such a high-respected player like Novak.”
Tsitsipas, who beat Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem in the second round here, will next face German Alexander Zverev after the second seed beat Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal beat Swizterland’s Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in a night match delayed by rain late in the first set. Nadal, playing his first event since losing to Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals, will face sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who took down Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.
Bulgarian fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov laboured for almost two and a half hours to subdue Frances Tiafoe of the United States 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).
He next faces Wimbledon runner-up and fourth seed Kevin Anderson who defeated Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-5, 6-3 to also make the last-eight.
Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov went down to Robin Haase, losing 7-5, 6-2, ending local interest. The Dutch winner will take on Karen Khachanov, who beat eighth seed John Isner 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1) in match that featured no service breaks.
HALEP DOMINATES VENUS
At the women’s event in Montreal, top seed Simona Halep made quick work of Venus Williams 6-2, 6-2 to end a long day that saw her advancing to the quarter-finals.
Halep had to grind out a 7-6 (11-9), 4-6, 7-5 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova earlier in the day, completing a match that began Wednesday but was halted due to rain.
Venus also had to play twice in one day after Wednesday’s rain-lashed programme. The veteran 13th-seeded American moved into a clash against Halep with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victory against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
Halep set up a quarter-final against sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Russia’s Maria Sharapova.
Great Britain’s Johanna Konta was also forced to complete a pair of matches on Thursday. She finished off Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-1 but lost later to fifth seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4.
Svitolina, the defending champion, set up a quarterfinal against 14th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium who outlasted Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0.
Sabalenka had earlier staged one of the biggest wins of her career, saving three match points en route to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) upset of second seed Caroline Wozniacki.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens, the third seed, beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5 to book her spot in the quarter-finals, where she will face Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) winner over German 10th seed Julia Goerges.
Ashleigh Barty of Australia beat France’s Alize Cornet 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. The 15th-seeded Barty will face Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2018