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Anderson vs Tsitsipas tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Teenage sensation Tsitsipas targets fourth top-10 win of the week in Rogers Cup semifinals

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 10 Aug 2018
  • Kevin Anderson faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup 
  • Anderson vs Tsitsipas is live from Toronto on Saturday at 3pm local/8pm BST
Kevin Anderson (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

There will be a first-time Masters 1000 Series finalist at the Rogers Cup in Toronto this week as Kevin Anderson and Stefanos Tsitsipas face off for a place in the final.

Saturday at the Canada Masters sees an intriguing semifinal as Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson takes on teenage sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas.

32-year-old Anderson and Tsitsipas, the Greek youngster who doesn’t turn 20 until Sunday, are not only enjoying a similarly unprecedented degree of success while at opposite ends of their careers, but took very different paths to the semifinals on Friday.

Kevin Anderson in action against Grigor Dimitrov  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Anderson continues to play the best tennis of his career after 11 years as a pro, continuing a spell of sustained high achievement which has seen him reach two Grand Slam finals over the past 12 months as well as winning the fourth title of his career in New York and reach finals in Pune and Acapulco besides. His best results at Masters 1000 Series level have also been during this spell – after eight quarterfinals reached before 2018, Anderson first made back-to-back quarterfinals (a first) at Indian Wells and Miami, then a first semifinal in Madrid.

The South African booked his place in a second Masters 1000 Series semifinal in Toronto with an absolute demolition of Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian, ranked one place above Anderson at world no. 5, didn’t play his best but it’s questionable whether it would have made much difference if he had as Anderson delivered a 6-2, 6-2 beatdown of the Nitto ATP Finals champion. Dimitrov was on a five-match winning streak against Anderson, but again, it didn’t seem to matter. Not only was Anderson superb on serve, winning more than 80% of points behind his first serve, hitting 12 aces and not facing a break point, he played as impressively from the baseline and as aggressively with his forehand as he did during his memorable Wimbledon run. 

‘It was definitely a great match today,’ Anderson said. ‘I felt I played really well right from the beginning. I think I played some really good tennis in the last couple of matches, just not from the start... I felt I was in a really good frame of mind, playing the kind of tennis that I knew I wanted to be playing and needed to be playing.’

A rueful Dimitrov, who will have to try to defend his Cincinnati Masters title next week, paid tribute to Anderson’s level.

‘He deserves for sure all the credit for the match,’ Dimitrov said. ‘He was able to keep a good, I mean, unbelievable level throughout the whole match. So there was not much for me to do. I tried as hard as I can, but [I] couldn't get into a rally too much.’

It was rather a contrast, in every sense, to the victory that Stefanos Tsitsipas scored to secure his place in a first Masters 1000 Series semifinal, in a quarterfinal match that beaten opponent Alexander Zverev called ‘absolutely pathetic’.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
It’s true that the match was very dull and sleepy for the first set and a half as Zverev, the second seed and defending champion at the Rogers Cup, looked set to extend his winning streak by repeating the straightforward victory he had scored over the Greek last week in Washington, D.C. Tsitsipas had impressed with his brilliant win over Novak Djokovic in the previous round, but backing up those sorts of wins over high-quality opponents is a special skill of its own and Tsitsipas looked, for the first hour, like he simply didn’t have it.

Zverev failed to capitalize on an opportunity to go up a double break when he had 0-30 on Tsitsipas’s serve at 2-4 in the second set, however, and it came back to bite him. The German actually served for the match at 5-4, but Tsitsipas suddenly found the intensity and accuracy on his forehand wing that had been lacking throughout the match, breaking back and digging himself out of a tight spot at 5-6 to take the second set to a tie-break with a brilliant forehand pass. 

The tie-break – which featured a streak of 10 straight points won by the receiver - was a tempestuous affair with Tsitsipas initially taking a mini-break lead for 3-1, only for Zverev to take a mini-break lead of his own with consecutive backhand winners for 4-3. Tsitsipas went down match point after netting a makeable backhand volley, but saved it very well in a 20-shot rally, before saving a second when Zverev buried a second-serve return in the net. But four set points went begging before Zverev finally missed a backhand wide at 11-12, levelling the match and seeing the furious German fling his racquet on to the court.

Zverev actually led by a break in the third set, but once more Tsitsipas came back to level for 4-4, before capitalizing when Zverev, serving to stay in it at 4-5, made a big error of judgement – failing to challenge an incorrect out call on his forehand which should have made it 40-15. Instead, it was 30-30 and Zverev buckled under the pressure, playing a terrible volley before double-faulting.

The victory saw Tsitsipas become the youngest player to post three wins over top-10 players in a single event (he also beat Dominic Thiem before ousting Djokovic and Zverev) since a certain Rafael Nadal did just that in Monte Carlo in 2006, beating Guillermo Coria, Gaston Gaudio and Roger Federer.

It’s quite remarkable to think that Tsitsipas was ranked world no. 168 a year ago and playing Challengers, only breaking into the top 100 at the end of 2017 when he made the semifinals of Antwerp as a qualifier and the top 50 after his breakthrough run to the final in Barcelona. The Greek teenager, whose mother Julija played against Zverev’s mother Irina when both were WTA Tour players representing Russia, is playing just his seventh Masters 1000 Series event.

Saturday’s semifinal will be the second meeting between Anderson and Tsitsipas, following a clash on clay in Estoril this summer which Tsitsipas won, ousting the top seed 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3. Hard courts, however, should be a significant leveler and as impressive as Tsitsipas’s comeback was against Zverev – and as partial as Zverev might have been in calling it an ‘absolutely pathetic’ match – there was no comparison between the level of tennis the Greek teenager played in that match, and the way Anderson played to oust Dimitrov. All indications point to Anderson recording yet another career milestone by making his first Masters 1000 Series final in Toronto, and sending Tsitsipas off to celebrate his 20th birthday on Sunday in peace. 

Anderson vs Tsitsipas semifinal tennis is live from Toronto on Saturday at 3pm local/8pm BST

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Anderson vs Tsitsipas tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Teenage sensation Tsitsipas targets fourth top-10 win of the week in Rogers Cup semifinals

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Kevin Anderson live streaming, preview and predictions for the Rogers Cup Toronto semifinal match on Saturday 11 August 2018: Wimbledon finalist Anderson aims to end giant-killing run of Tsitsipas to reach first Masters 1000 Series final

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