A Tsitsipas Stunner: Stefanos Shocks Djokovic
#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas created the biggest upset of the Rogers Cup on Thursday, stunning former World No. 1 and recent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 at the Rogers Cup on Thursday to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final.
"I feel very proud for me, myself, and my country. I'm putting Greece more deep into the map of tennis. So I'm pretty sure I'm making my family proud, all of those people that are watching, my coach, my father. It was a very emotional win," Tsitsipas said. "I've never felt so many emotions after a victory."
One year ago this week, the teenager did not own a tour-level win. Sitting at No. 168 in the ATP Rankings, Tsitsipas lost in the semi-finals of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Portoroz, Slovenia. It is safe to say that the 19-year-old has come a long way since then.
This is yet another accomplishment in what has been a season full of breakthroughs for the teenager, who is currently second in the ATP Race To Milan. This time last year, Tsitsipas did not own a tour-level match win.
But the Greek is now into his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. Last week at the Citi Open, he made his third semi-final. And his win over Djokovic did not come out of nowhere. In the second round, Tsitsipas earned his fourth Top 10 win against Dominic Thiem.
Tsitsipas will next face second seed Alexander Zverev, who sped past 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2. Tsitsipas lost to Zverev last week in Washington, D.C., in their only FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup.
It wasn't that four-time Rogers Cup champion Djokovic played poorly, but Tsitsipas competed with a clear confidence on Centre Court. The Serbian took advantage of some tight errors from his younger opponent at the end of the second set to force a decider. But Tsitsipas broke in his first return game of the third set, with a laser-like backhand down the line, and never looked back.
"I was serving well, so that break was everything," Tsitsipas said. "It gave me the win at the end. And serving, [it was] unbelievable. [I was] returning pretty well here and there during the match. Yeah, [it is the] best win of my career."
Many teenagers would show nerves when serving out a match against one of the greatest returners in tennis history, but Tsitsipas showed no fear. He earned his first match point with a cross-court forehand winner and clinched his two-hour, 18-minute victory with another one, dropping his racquet to the court with joy.
"I knew he had some issues in some particular shots in his game, I would say. So I was waiting and I grabbed him like a bulldog and stuck there and executed, I executed my plan," Tsitsipas said. "I knew that at some point he's going to break, and I just patiently waited for this moment and it happened."
Did You Know?
Tsitsipas is one of two teenagers in the Top 30 of the ATP Rankings, with fellow #NextGenATP Denis Shapovalov ranked one spot ahead of him at No. 26.