Reilly Opelka shocks Stefanos Tsitsipas in Canadian Open semi-final

It was a historic victory for Opelka as it is the first time he has reached the final of an ATP Masters 1000 competition.

Reilly Opelka during the match against Tsitsipas on Saturday. (Image: Twitter/ ATP Tour)

American tennis player Reilly Opelka scored a shock victory on Saturday when he beat world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final of the Canadian Open. The American will face Daniil Medvedev in the final on Sunday. It was a historic victory for Opelka as it is the first time he has reached the final of an ATP Masters 1000 competition. The closest he had come to a title before this was when he reached the semi-final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in May. He lost that semi-final against Rafael Badal. This semi-final match, however, ended 6-7 7-6 6-4 in Opelka’s favour. He really pushed Tsitsipas to the limit and came out on top after what was a hard-fought battle. He was understandably over the moon after the result and is looking forward to the final against Medvedev.

Opelka scored an incredible 17 aces while Tsitsipas scored 10. The American had fewer double faults with three whereas the third seed committed six. Tsitsipas did have the upper hand when it came to the wins percentage in the first serve with 88%. Opelka had 77% which is not too bad either. On the second serve, however, the world number 32 had the advantage with 70% whereas Tsitsipas had 65%. Opelka also scored one out of four break points whereas the Greek could not score a single one. The American also won one service game more with 17 than his opponent.

“I played great,” a jubilant Opelka said after his match. “These courts suit my game, it is no coincidence that John Isner is in the other semi-final. 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,” he added.

A DATE WITH MEDVEDEV

At the time, the second semi-final of the Canadian Open was yet to be played between Opelka’s fellow countryman John Isner and Daniil Medvedev. Opelka believed that it would be a similar match to the one he played and that it would come down to just a couple of points. “Both Medvedev and Isner are big servers,” he said. “It is going to come down to a couple of points I think. It will be a similar match to this one.”

Unfortunately for Opelka, he predicted wrong. Medvedev won the semi-final and he did it with ease. The Russian star beat Isner in straight sets. The match was not even close. The scoreline at the end of the game was 6-2, 6-2 in Medvedev’s favour. Opelka will have to overcome a massive obstacle in the final if he wants to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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