Reilly Opelka earned his biggest career win Saturday stunning Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-4 to reach his biggest career final at the Canadian Open Masters in Toronto.
“I played great,” the 23-year-old Opelka said on court. “These courts suit my game, it is no coincidence that John Isner is in the other semifinal. I think we are the two best servers in the tournament, so for us both to be there, it says something about the conditions. It is live.
”Stefanos has definitely improved his returning. Come 5-5 in the first set, a lot of balls started to come back. He is a thinker and has a high tennis IQ, so it was expected, but that is what separates him from the rest of the pack.”
The 6-foot-11 Opelka was hardly troubled on his serve while on return he did manage and miss on a few first set break chances. But the big American fell apart in the opening set breaker and a charged Tsitsipas liked his chances.
Opelka saved a Tsitsipas chance in the second, but otherwise his switch to serve-and-volley was paying off. And in the breaker, Tsitsipas shank errors cost the Greek.
In the third, a frustrated Tsitsipas was broken at 3-all, 30-0. Opelka crushed a sitter forehand and rode his serve to the win.
Opelka finished with 17 aces and saved the only break point he faced. He managed to grab four break chances on the Tsitsipas serve converting in the third.
“Nothing was too difficult to handle,” said Tsitsipas. “It was played on the details, and he prevailed. It didn’t go my way when it had to, and it’s all right. I feel like there is hope for next time.”
In the evening, Daniil Medvedev put a full-stop to a nightmare Opelka-Isner servebot final by crushing John Isner 6-2, 6-2.
Isner had won his last 9 matches going back to his sixth Atlanta title. But Medvedev was able to break early and often to set the tone in the 55-minute blowout.
“I was playing great today. I think I almost did no unforced errors,” Medvedev said on court. “I’m really happy with my game at this moment. I always like coming to the US Open Series. I always feel like I’m playing better and better the more the series continues. I’m really happy that I’m still in the Toronto tournament, that’s the main.”
Medvedev leads Opelka 3-1 as he returns to the Canadian final, seeking a fourth career Masters title.
“I actually watched almost all of his matches,” Medvedev said. “I think he’s playing great tennis here all week long. Today the match he turned around with Stefanos was quite unbelievable, a very hard effort.”
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