Toronto: Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his giant-killing act defeating another seeded player at the Toronto Masters tennis tournament here Thursday. Playing some fine tennis, Tsitsipas stunned Wimbledon champion and ninth seed Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
However, a 45-minute rain interruption did little to stop the progress of Rafael Nadal as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6(7-4) to reach the last eight stage.
The Greek teenager, who turns 20 Sunday, had earlier defeated Wednesday seventh seed Dominic Thiem.
“This was the best match of my career,” Tsitsipas said. “I knew I was playing pretty good today (Thursday). Losing the second set, it was tough to deal with – I had my opportunities and didn’t use them. But I remained calm and ultimately pulled through.”
Tsitsipas, ranked 27, spent just over two hours in advancing to the first Masters 1000 quarterfinal of his career.
The 19-year-old forced the former World No.1 Djokovic onto the back foot in the first set but was unable to wrap up a straight-set win as the 13-time Grand Slam champion claimed the tie-break with the Greek firing long having saved two set points.
In the third set, the teenager showed great composure to break for a 2-0 lead and then saved a breakpoint for a 3-0 margin. He rounded off his afternoon with back-to-back winners to send Djokovic, the winner of 30 Masters titles, out on a first match point.
Upset scenarios were not in the plan of holder Alexander Zverev, who rolled over Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in just 52 minutes while never facing a breakpoint. Bulgarian fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov required almost two-and- a-half hours to subdue Frances Tiafoe of the United States 7-6(7/1), 3-6, 7-6(7/4).
Dimitrov next faces Wimbledon runner-up and fourth seed Kevin Anderson who defeated Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-5, 6-3 to also make the last eight.
Sixth seed Marin Cilic continued his quiet progress, beating Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.
Halt in proceedings during the Nadal-Wawrinka match came 63 minutes into the opening set with Nadal leading 6-5. When the weather passed, the pair returned, with Nadal wrapping up the set on his second chance.
The second set was a battle as the Swiss, a three-time Grand Slam champion, fought back from an early break down, took a 2-1 lead, with the pair again trading breaks in the fifth and 10 games. Nadal came from a mini-break down in the tie-breaker and secured victory on his second match point.
“It was a good match, a very positive victory for me over a tough opponent,” Nadal said. “I’m happy to see Stan playing well again. We had a good quality of tennis.
At a glance
Stefanos Tsitsipas bt Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-3
Rafa Nadal bt Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6(7-4)
Alexander Zverev bt Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov bt Frances Tiafoe 7-6(7-1), 3-6, 7-6(7-4)
Marin Cilic bt Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2