Toronto Final Preview: Can Tsitsipas avenge Barcelona loss to Nadal?

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On Stefanos Tsitsipas's incredible journey to the Rogers Cup Final:

Stefanos Tsitsipas has made history yet again in Toronto, becoming the youngest player to defeat four consecutive Top 10 opponents since the ATP World Tour was established in 1972. The Greek teenager, who turns 20 tomorrow, has gifted himself a few early birthday presents—his first Masters 1000 final, a berth in the ATP Top 15, and at least a half-million dollars in prize money.

Tsitsipas is an aggressive player with many dangerous weapons, but his most powerful tool may be his problem-solving ability, as he demonstrated today in his semifinal win over No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson. After losing 88% of the South African’s first-serve points in the first set, the Greek star varied his serve-return point, taking some returns early and taking others at the back fence. This frustrated the big-serving Anderson just enough for Tsitsipas to notch the only break of the match early in the second set.

After winning the match 7-6 in the third, and saving yet another match point, the 20-year-old wrote “it never gets easier, you just get better” on the camera lens post match.  For his sake, he will need to get a whole lot better overnight if he is to do the unthinkable and defeat five Top 10 players in as many days. To make matters worse, his opponent in the final, Rafael Nadal, may be the toughest competitor our sport has ever seen.

The two have played once before, earlier this year in the Barcelona final, where the Spaniard won 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour. Tsitsipas will no doubt be exhausted after playing three consecutive three-set matches. Nadal is the last opponent you want to play if you are fatigued. He feasts on opponents with a one-handed backhand. On paper, the three-time champion should win easily. However, after such a magical week, you cannot count the Greek sensation out, especially on his 20th birthday?


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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