The towering Reilly Opelka blasted his way past Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his first ATP Maters 1000 final where he will face the top seeded Daniil Medvedev for the National Open Bank title (formerly Rogers Cup or Canadian Open) being played out in Toronto.
There are no easy draws at Masters 1000s, every match is a nightmare. But I've got a lot of confidence going and I've carried it through each match. I'm putting pressure on guys with my serve -- and they can feel it! Reilly Opelka
Tsitsipas became the 6’11” American’s latest victim at the Aviva Stadium where he had previously eliminated Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, Lloyd Harris, and Roberto Bautista Agut before taking out the third seeded Greek 7-6(2) 5-7(4) 6-4 to record the best run of his career to date.
The semi-final, which took some two and half hours to complete, could have gone either way until the third set where Opelka took control when he broke for 4-3 to go on and secure three games later, his first win over a top-five player, with an overhead smash on his first match point.
“I’ve played great from the first round against a lot of adversity,” the giant from Michigan, who hit 17 aces and 46 winners to the Greek’s 23, said.
“There are no easy draws at Masters 1000s, every match is a nightmare. But I’ve got a lot of confidence going and I’ve carried it through each match. I’m putting pressure on guys with my serve — and they can feel it!”
While Tsitsipas was disappointed he was not downhearted.
“He prevailed, it just didn’t go my way,” Tsitsipas commented. “But there is hope for next time, it’s all right.
“I struggled with my serve, it was obvious. When you get no rhythm it’s difficult. It silently ruins your game.”
Whether Opelka can upset the top seeds rhythm on Sunday, has yet to be seen but Medvedev made light work of the other big serving American, John Isner, in the second semi-final.
The Russian, who has succeeded in reaching the goal he set himself at the start of the week by making the final, required just 54-minutes to dispatch his 36-year-old who only managed 4 aces on this occasion, 6-2 6-2!
Medvedev is happy with his current form as he prepares for the US Open which starts on August 30.
“I’m really happy with the win. I had very few unforced errors (seven). I’m pleased with my game in this moment.
“I feel I’m playing better and better leading to the US Open,” the Muscovite said.
“He was not serving like usual and I had to take my opportunities, try and break as much as I could,” Medvedev continued. “I stayed focused and managed to do that.”
The Russian struck 20 winners to Isner’s 20 unforced errors, breaking the American four times and he would hope to post similar figures on Sunday against Opelka.
“He’s been playing great tennis all week,” Medvedev admitted. “Big credit to him.
“But a Masters final is never easy; I’ll try to play well and hope to be holding the trophy tomorrow.”
If he is successful it would be his fourth trophy of the season after the ATP Cup, Marseilles and Mallorca.