The 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas has been one of the leaders of the new generation and he has been on fire so far in 2018, playing well on all surfaces and improving his game on the regular basis to get himself into the Top 30 this week.
That will change on Monday after an amazing run he is having so far in Toronto, saving a match point in 6-7 6-4 7-6 win over the 4th seed and Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in two hours and 48 minutes, for his 30th ATP win of the season.
Stefanos is the 10th youngest player in Masters 1000 final and the youngest one since Novak Djokovic at Miami 2007, notching four Top 10 wins in a row against Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson, coming from a brink of defeat in the last two matches for his biggest result in a career.
In addition, the Greek has become only the fifth player since 1990 who has scored four wins over the rivals from the Top 10 at Masters 1000 event after Goran Ivanisevic, Tomas Enqvist, Guillermo Canas and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who did that four years ago here in Toronto, ousting Roger Federer in a tight final.
It was an amazing battle between Stefanos and Kevin, pushing each other to the limits from start to finish and with the South African winning three points more in the end, 114 to 111. Tsitsipas fends off all four break points he faced to keep his serve intact for almost three hours and he earned one break in the second set, the only one from seven break chances we saw on both sides.
Both players dominated with their forehands to finish the match with more winners than unforced errors, Tsitsipas standing on 48-40 while Anderson hit 41 winners and 35 errors. Anderson has won eight points more in the shortest range up to four strokes and in those with middle exchanges from five to eight strokes while Stefanos had more success in those rare long exchanges, taking nine out of 13.
As was expected, nothing could separate them in the opening set, with no deuces or break points, and it was Stefanos who gained an early lead in the tie break after a lucky net cord on the return. Two service winners pushed the Greek 4-1 up but Kevin rattled off the next six points to steal the breaker 7-4 and move a set away from the final.
Stefanos bounced back in the second set, earning the only break of the match in the third game after a terrible forehand from Anderson, and he saved two break points with winners in game eight to maintain the lead and forge a 5-3 advantage.
Serving for the set at 5-4, a teenager delivered a hold at love to close the set with a volley winner and gain the momentum before the decider, ready to fight for every point in order to reach his biggest final in a career so far.
The Wimbledon finalist wasted two break points in the sixth game of the final set and he landed a forehand down the line winner in game nine to overcome a break chance and stay on the positive side of the scoreboard. Just like the entire match, the tie break was intense one and Kevin saved two match points at 4-6 to bring more drama and excitement to already thrilled crowd in the stands.
The South African had a match point on his own at 7-6 but Stefanos repelled it with a backhand cross court winner, firing an ace to move 8-7 in front. He won the next point on the return when Anderson landed a backhand wide, celebrating his first Masters 1000 final and introducing himself to the tennis world as the future champion and a Grand Slam contender. Semi-final result: