Stefanos Tsitsipas might find his way into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings in the very near future if he keeps this up. Greece's #NextGenATP star won his ninth match out of 11 on Wednesday, upsetting seventh seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6(6) at the Rogers Cup in Toronto to reach his first third round at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
The 19-year-old Tsitsipas, No. 27 in the ATP Rankings, picked up his fourth Top 10 win (4-9) and his second against Thiem, who still leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2.
The Austrian beat Tsitsipas in four sets at Roland Garros en route to his maiden Grand Slam final in June. But on the hard courts in Canada, Tsitsipas was dialled in, winning 95 per cent of his first-serve points (38/40) and never facing a break point.
“I felt very confident from the beginning of the match. I felt like I was stronger than him today. and confidence played an important role in my game today. I felt my serve was working really well. And I managed to win lots of easy points on my serve and put pressure on him, knowing that he cannot find solutions while I was serving on my service games,” Tsitsipas said.
“It was a fantastic match from the beginning till the end. And I'm really looking forward to my next match because I want to prove that I can play even better than that.”
Thiem, for his part, was broken only once, but Tsitsipas converted his third match point in the second set tie-break to advance. “It was a tough match. Obviously he's in form. For an opponent like Stefanos, who is playing great right now, who had a great run last week, also already one good win here, it was just not good enough,” Thiem said.
Tsitsipas, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon (l. to Isner), will next meet ninth seed and four-time champion Novak Djokovic, who beat home favourite Peter Polansky of Canada 6-3, 6-4 earlier Wednesday.
#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov continued to back up his Rogers Cup semi-final run of a year ago (l. to Zverev) with a 6-3, 7-5 upset of 14th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy. Fognini was coming off his first hard-court title at Los Cabos on Saturday (d. Del Potro).
“I think my game is at a very high level right now. You know, last week, even though I lost to Kei, it was a really good match. And I was telling everyone, I'm playing well in practice. I'm feeling really good,” Shapovalov said. “And I think having my mom on the side has really helped me the last couple weeks. I've really picked up my game. We've really worked on a couple of aspects that have helped me in the last couple of weeks.”
Both Tsitsipas and Shapovalov are in good position to reach the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan. Tsitsipas is in second place in the ATP Race To Milan; Shapovalov fourth. The top seven players in the Race will qualify automatically, while the eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the prestigious 21-and-under event.
Shapovalov will next face Dutchman Robin Haase, who beat former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny in a rain-interrupted encounter 7-5, 6-2.
Third-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 finalist, withdrew ahead of his second-round match against Haase due to left wrist pain. Del Potro, who underwent three left wrist surgeries in 2014 and 2015, was replaced by lucky loser Youzhny. who recently announced he will retire from professional tennis at the St. Petersburg Open in September. . read full article