Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Djokovic stunned by teen Tsitsipas

GREEK SENSATION:Simona Halep easily saw off Venus Williams after a grueling two-match day, while Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching lost her doubles match in a walkover

Reuters, TORONTO

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates on his way to defeating Novak Djokovic in the Rogers Cup round of 16 in Toronto on Thursday.

Photo: AP

Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday secured the biggest win of his career when he sent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic packing in the third round of the Rogers Cup with a stunning 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win.

Top seed Rafa Nadal battled past Swiss wild card Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) and is next to meet Marin Cilic, who took down Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.

A confident Tsitsipas sent a blistering forehand to the back corner while heading the other way on his first match point to secure the win before looking at his box in disbelief.

“It’s a dream of any kid out there in this world, any kid that’s playing tennis, to beat these kinds of players, so I can call it the best moment of my life,” a shocked Tsitsipas said in an on-court interview. “I never expected to beat such a top-ranked player and such a high-respected player like Novak.”

Tsitsipas, who turns 20 tomorrow, relied on his serve and forehand combination to get by Djokovic, who was competing in his first tournament since collecting his 13th Grand Slam title last month at the All England Club.

For the resident of Athens, who arrived in Toronto fresh off a run to the semi-finals in Washington, where he lost to German world No. 3 Alexander Zverev, the win is the latest in a breakthrough campaign during which he has reached the quarter-finals or better at seven ATP main tour events.

Tsitsipas is next to face Zverev after the second seed beat Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2.

In the women’s singles, top seed Simona Halep made quick work of Venus Williams 6-2, 6-2 to end a long day that saw her advancing to the quarter-finals.

Halep had to grind out a 7-6 (11/9), 4-6, 7-5 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova earlier in the day, completing a match that began on Wednesday, but was halted due to rain.

“It was a great match, a great fight. She played unbelievable and was fighting until the end,” Halep told reporters.

Against Williams, the 26-year-old Romanian saved the only break point she faced in the 74-minute match and converted five of her nine break opportunities.

Second seed Dane Caroline Wozniacki went down in her first match, losing 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Wozniacki was coming off a disappointing second-round loss at Wimbledon and could not turn things around.

England’s Johanna Konta was also forced to complete a pair of matches on Thursday. She finished off Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-1, but later lost to fifth seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4.

“She was mentally more warmed up going into the match,” Svitolina said. “That’s what I thought. I was like: ‘C’mon, you have to be ready, [because] she will be straight in the match.’”

France’s Caroline Garcia cruised past former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-2, the same score by which Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens upset eighth seed Czech Petra Kvitova.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens, the third seed, beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5 to book her spot in the quarter-finals, where she is to face Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) winner over German 10th seed Julia Goerges.

In the women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and China’s Yang Zhaoxuan fell in a walkover to third seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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