Toronto Semifinal Preview: Youth (Khachanov, Tsitsipas) vs. experience

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On Stefanos Tsitsipas' latest Top 10 win at the Rogers Cup:

The Stefanos Tsitsipas hype train has officially left the station. The 19-year-old Greek phenom rallied from a 6-3, 5-2 deficit against Alexander Zverev, saved two match points and taught us all a masterclass in mental toughness. Tsitsipas became the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2006 to beat three Top 10 opponents in the same tournament. Exactly one year ago, Tsitsipas was ranked 161st in the world; by reaching the semifinals in Toronto he has cemented himself firmly in the Top 20. His climb up the rankings this year has been meteoric.

The young Greek will have his hands full again on Saturday, against another Top 10 player and one of the hottest players on tour, in Kevin Anderson. Fresh off his run to the Wimbledon final, the 32-year-old South African is having by far the best year of his career, thanks to a newfound sense of belief and confidence. Look for the more experienced Anderson to outlast the teenager and put a stop to his historic run at the Rogers Cup.

The second semifinal from Toronto will also feature a matchup between a rising star and an tour veteran. The veteran is also an all-time great: Nadal, who comes into the semifinal boasting a ridiculous 38-3 record on the season. His opponent, Karen Khachanov, will have to play the match of his life to have any chance against the ATP’s most dominant player this year.

Unless Tsitsipas makes history and defeats four consecutive Top 10 opponents en route to a final—which would take place on his 20th birthday—we will likely be watching a rematch of the 2017 US Open final on Sunday.


ATP Toronto
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev headline the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Watch live coverage from four courts on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday, August 6th at 11:00 A.M.

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