Medvedev, Tsitsipas Try To Prevent All-Servebot Isner-Opelka Canadian Masters Final
by Staff | August 14th, 2021, 8:19 am
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The first summer Masters event is down to just four in Toronto where American bigs John Isner and Reilly Opelka will battle Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, respectively.

Tsitsipas on Friday put a hard stop to Casper Ruud’s 13-match win streak whipping the younger 22-year-old 6-1, 6-4 in under 80 minutes.

”It is very nice to see myself perform at this level,” Tsitsipas said on court. “I was sticking close to the baseline and coming in, taking the ball early. It was my intention from the very beginning, and it worked perfectly.

“Playing against a guy like him, who gets every single ball back, is always very challenging. There is some sort of concentration levels you have to reach to perform to your best. These kinds of matches always teach me things that I can expose for next time.”

Tsitsipas extends his tour-best win total to 45 on the season after the quick quarterfinal win. Into his 7th Masters semifinal, Tsitsipas will meet the Opelka who reached his second semifinal at this stage of 2021 following a 6-3, 7-6(1) win over Roberto Bautista Agut, taking match point on a 21-stroke rally!

The 6-foot-11 Opelka has won eight of his last nine at the Masters level following his Rome SF in May when he lost to Rafael Nadal.

Tsitsipas won the lone meeting with Opelka by retirement at the Western Cincinnati event last summer.

“Has got a great serve,” Opelka said of the Greek. “He has the best forehand in the world right now and he moves very well. It is very hard to find his backhand, he moves to the left to cover it. He hits forehands from every part of the court, is aggressive and competes well.”

In the evening, top seed Medvedev had to rally from a set down to defeat Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(5). Medvedev hit 23 aces and never broke the Pole’s serve. Hurkacz actually won more points than the Russian but came up short in the end.

“He had his chances and he was probably the better player for at least two sets for sure, but that’s tennis,” Medvedev said on court. “We both have great serves and I managed to hit some aces when I needed to.

“It was definitely not easy. He was on top of me. But to win matches like this gives you a huge boost of confidence. It’s a pleasure to be standing here and giving interviews.”

Medvedev moves on to meet Isner who won his 9th straight match upended Gael Monfils in the nightcap 7-6(5), 6-4.

Isner is in his 13th career Masters semifinal, second in Canada. Medvedev is into his 6th Masters semifinal, second straight in Canada.

Medvedev rolled Isner at the ATP Cup to start 2020.

“I didn’t fare too well in the ATP Cup in the only time I played him, so I’m going to have to change up some tactics. But I’m definitely playing better now than I was then,” Isner said. “He’s definitely going to do what he does. He’s full of confidence. He’s going to stand on the fence, he’s going to make a lot of returns, he’s going to run. He’s No. 2 in the world for a reason. I’m going to have to play well.”

SATURDAY TORONTO MASTERS SCHEDULE
Stadium Starts At 12:30 Pm
SF 1 Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic v 4 Kevin Krawietz/Horia Tecau
Not Before 3:00 Pm
SF 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas v Reilly Opelka
Not Before 6:00 Pm
SF 3 Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury v Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen
Not Before 8:00 Pm
SF 1 Daniil Medvedev v John Isner


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