Stefanos Tsitsipas caused the upset of the tournament Thursday afternoon after pulling together a career-best performance to defeat World No. 10 and recent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
The match was largely played on the Greek teenager’s terms as he took the ball early and glided around the court with the same nimble footwork and elegance as his idol growing up, Roger Federer. His backhand delivered just as well: He was quick to redirect his shots down the line with uncanny precision, a tactic which paid dividends throughout the two-hour, 17-minute match.
Djokovic was able to hang tight in the second set despite being unable to generate a break point on the Tsitsipas serve, and upped his relentlessness on the baseline to coerce the 19-year-old into errors. The third set, however, was all Tsitsipas, who broke early and held his nerve to claim victory with one final forehand winner, his 42nd of the contest.
Elsewhere around the grounds, No.4 seed Kevin Anderson, the Wimbledon finalist, continued his quiet progression into the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over lesser-known Ilya Ivashka, the world No. 125.
Anderson next meets Dimitrov, with the Bulgarian holding a 6-1 head-to-head lead. They met most recently in Stockholm in 2016, and also here in Toronto in 2014, Dimitrov triumphing in a third-set tiebreak. Speaking of third-set tiebreaks, Dimitrov reached the quarterfinals thanks to yet another one – he defeated Fernando Verdasco in the second round in a decisive tiebreak and American Frances Tiafoe 7-6(5) in the third set today.
On Court 1 there was no time wasted by No.6 seed Marin Cilic, who blasted his way past No.11 seed Diego Schwartzman in one hour, 11 minutes, 6-3, 6-2. Who does he await in the quarter-finals? The winner of Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.
In doubles, Mike Bryan and Jack Sock were winners, while No. 1 seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic moved through to the next round with a walkover after Dimitrov pulled out due to fatigue alongside partner David Goffin.
Alexander Zverev capped off the day session with a speedy win of his own, overwhelming a clearly fatiguing Daniil Medvedev – who finished his match last night just past midnight – by a decisive 6-3, 6-2 score.