Nadal into Rogers Cup SFs after overcoming red-hot Cilic

Lynette Rowe
August 13, 2018

Tsitsipas caused a stir during his run to the final of Toronto as the 20-year-old became the youngest player to beat four top-ten ranked opponents at the same tournament and he was hoping to cause an upset against Nadal. The win marks the fourth Rogers Cup championship since Nadal first won at the annual Canadian event in 2005. "I try to play every match with the highest possible passion, it's a special feeling that I have on court".

"No one wants to keep watching you play when the [king] arrives", Kyrgios wrote in an Instagram post featuring the two men on adjacent courts.

The Athens native did well to serve out at love in the first game but Nadal took over as he broke back in each of his next two chances before sealing the opening set in 34 minutes when Tsitsipas sent a routine forehand into the net.

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 am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, tournament director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said to him and understands the situation".

"It feels like I'm playing Davis Cup and everyone is backing me up and they're so supportive", Tsitsipas said.

Nadal sat in a similar position when he faced Stefanos Tsitsipas during the 2018 Rogers Cup final. "I need to work much more and hopefully I can reach his level one day". Ranked 27th, Tsitsipas will jump to 12th with a victory Sunday and to 15th with a loss when the new rankings are released Monday. He converted his third break-point opportunity of the game when Tsitsipas volleyed wide.

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Cilic - runner-up at Melbourne Park - was virtually unstoppable and unplayable in a masterclass of ball striking in the first set.

"I don't know what happened (in the second set), I just broke him (for 4-5)".

Nadal was all class throughout, even showing incredible sportsmanship in the second set, when a member of the crowd yelled out during Tsitsipas' serve, forcing an error.

"I'm very happy to have this trophy with me again", Nadal said. "You'll get that from me many more times".

Not bad for someone ranked 168th in the world at this time previous year.

Play wraps up Sunday at the US$5.94-million tournament on the York University campus.

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