Greek Teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas Upsets Novak Djokovic to Reach Rogers Cup Quarterfinals; Rafael Nadal Advances
(August 9, 2018) Nineteen-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece upset reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3 at Rogers Cup to reach his first Masters Series final eight on Thursday in Toronto.
“It has big value for me, this win. I feel very proud for me, myself, and my country. I’m putting Greece more deep into the map of tennis,” Tsitsipas said of his victory over the ninth seeded Serbian and 13-time major title holder. “I’m pretty sure I’m making my family proud, all of those people that are watching, my coach, my father. It was a very emotional win. I’ve never felt so many emotions after a victory.”
Djokovic who is a four-time champion of this event talked about the loss: “I have never played him, you know, official match. And we did practice, you know three, four times. But, you know, it’s quite different, obviously, practice and match.
“And he won against Thiem yesterday. He was feeling well. I think he was serving 18 aces, you know, last match, and then also in the first match a lot of aces.
“So, I mean, he was just serving big. You know, he was serving all corners. So I didn’t really read his serve that well, to be honest, and that’s all it is.”
“He’s definitely one of the leaders of NextGen without a doubt, especially this season. He’s had some terrific results and terrific wins.
“And, you know, he’s showing a lot of commitment, a lot of discipline. You know, he’s putting in the hours in the gym, on the tennis court, and it’s paying off. I mean, he’s very talented. He was the best junior in the world.
“If he keeps on going this way, he’s got a good future.”
“Losing in this kind of tournament, it’s not something I don’t care about, you know. It really frustrates me. But I have to accept it, deal with it, and move on.
“I’m going get into Cincinnati, the only 1000 event that I didn’t win in my career, and hopefully I can have a good tournament. And then, of course, the US Open around the corner, which is, yeah, the most important one.”
Tsitsipas, a former junior No. 1 will face-off against second seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany for a spot in the semifinals.
Zverev defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 to advance.
No. 1 Rafael Nadal held off Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6(4) in the last match of the evening. A rain delay came with Nadal up 6-5 in the first set. Nadal returned from the delay and immediately broke serve to take the set.
In the second set Wawrinka went up a break and served for the set at 5-4, but Nadal was relentless and broke serve to level the set and eventually won it in a tiebreak.
“It was a good match, no? Of course a very positive victory for me against a very tough opponent,” Nadal said. “Happy to see Stan playing that well again. As you say, it was a good quality of tennis tonight.
“So I’m very pleased, no? That’s what I needed, a match like this, to be a little bit more confident, and I did. So just happy to be in the quarterfinals already.
“And tomorrow another opportunity to play against a big opponent like Marin.”
“I know Stan already won two great matches in this tournament, so I know it will be a good challenge, and that’s what — of course it was like this, no?
“So after that, I feel happy because it was only the second match after the period outside and played, in my opinion, well and it give me the chance to play again tomorrow. And that’s what I need today, no? Matches, spend hours on court.
“And I know I am playing well since I came back from the injury, on clay, on grass. And I need to play well now on hard again, no? So let’s make that happen.
The Spaniard Nadal will play sixth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia for a place in the semifinals. Cilic defeated the 11th seed, Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2. Other seeded winners included No. 4 Kevin Anderson, and No. 5 Grigor Dimitrov.
The hometown boy is out of Toronto – Denis Shapovalov lost to last year’s semifinalist Robin Haase of the Netherlands in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. Haase will play Karen Kachanov. The Russian toppled 8th seed John Isner of the US 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1).
All photos by Nida Alibhai