TORONTO – Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest player to beat four straight top-10 players in an event since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990, outlasting Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (7) on Saturday to reach the Rogers Cup final.
Tsitsipas, who will be 20 on Sunday, will face the winner of the late match between top-ranked Rafael Nadal and Karen Khachanov.
“Playing in a Masters 1000 final is the best thing that can happen on your birthday,” Tsitsipas said. “I cannot believe it.”
Tsitsipas beat the fourth-seeded Anderson after topping seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem, ninth-seeded Novak Djokovic and second-seeded defending champion Alexander Zverev to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal.
“I’m capable of doing anything on the court and beating any opponent,” Tsitsipas said.
Tsitsipas fired an ace at 7-7 before converting his third match point of the deciding tiebreaker when Anderson’s return sailed long. The South African had a match point of his own at 7-6, but Tsitsipas came through with a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner to pull even.
“I’m secure and I’m aggressive at the same time,” Tsitsipas said. “It feels like I’m never losing it. I’m always there. It doesn’t matter what the score is.”
The 32-year-old Anderson reached the Wimbledon final last month. He also lost his only other match against Tsitsipas, falling this year on clay in Portugal.
“I think the biggest thing I was impressed with was definitely his mentality,” Anderson said. “He stayed pretty solid throughout the match. Today, he definitely deserved to win.”
Tsitsipas is attempting to become the first player since Albert Portas at Hamburg in 2001 to win his first ATP World Tour title at a Masters 1000 event. Ranked 27th, Tsitsipas would jump 12th with a victory Sunday and to 15th with a loss when the new rankings are released Monday.
Nadal beat Tsitsipas in April in the Barcelona Open final.