Daniil Medvedev and Reilly Opelka will meet in the National Bank Open final in Toronto.
American Reilly Opelka claimed a major scalp on Saturday in Toronto, coming back from a set down to topple third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-4 to book his place in his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final.
After reaching the semifinals at the Rome Masters back in May, the World No. 32 has now gone one step further in Toronto. The American slammed down 16 aces to claim his maiden Top 5 win in his fifth attempt, in two hours and 34 minutes.
“I played great,” Opelka said in his post match on-court interview.
“These courts suit my game, it is no coincidence that John Isner is in the other semi-final. I think we are the two best servers in the tournament, so for us both to be there, it says something about the conditions. It is live. Stefanos has definitely improved his returning. Come 5-5 in the first set, a lot of balls started to come back. He is a thinker and has a high tennis IQ, so it was expected, but that is what separates him from the rest of the pack," Opelka said.
No. 1 seed Medvedev managed to dismantle one of the best serves in tennis history - that of American John Isner, en route to a 6-2, 6-2 victory in just 55 minutes. The win moves Medvedev into his fifth ATP Masters 1000 final, where he will meet Opelka in the final.
“I was playing great today. I think I almost did no unforced errors. I’m really happy with my game at this moment. I always like coming to the US Open Series. I always feel like I’m playing better and better the more the series continues. I’m really happy that I’m still in the Toronto tournament, that’s the main," Medvedev said in his post match press conference.
John Isner's serve is one that is incredibly difficult to break. The 36-year-old was broken just three times in four matches this week in Toronto. But Medvedev managed to break his serve four times in eight service games and won an astonishing 50 per cent of his return points in a fantastic performance.
"I had to take this opportunity, just try to break as many times as I can, stay focused and I managed to do it," Medvedev said. "I’m really happy with the win today."
Medvedev will face another big serving American in the final - Reilly Opelka. It will be the pairs fifth meeting, with Medvedev boasting a 3-1 head-to-head lead, which includes a win in their latest meeting which was at The French Open.
“I actually watched almost all of his matches,” Medvedev said. “I think he’s playing great tennis here all week long. Today the match he turned around with Stefanos was quite unbelievable, a very hard effort.”
Listen to The First Serve, this Monday at 7pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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