Stefanos Tsitsipas’ magical Madrid run continued, as the 20-year-old upset world number two and five-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in front of his home crowd in the semifinals.
After having lost all three of his previous meetings with the “King of Clay” in straight sets, Tsitsipas was able to come out on top in the first set, winning it 6-4. Nadal responded by winning the last four games of the second set to take it 6-2. Nadal then held serve to open the third set, and held two break points to go up 2-0 in the third, but Tsitsipas was able to save them and level the set at 1-1. Tsitsipas eventually broke Nadal’s serve twice in a row to go up 5-2, showing great composure, maturity, and superb volleying skills up at the net. Nadal was able to break Tsitsipas to reduce the Greek’s lead to 5-3, but Tsitsipas immediately broke back to win the match 6-4 2-6 6-3 and book his place in the final of a Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career.
Tsitsipas has now reached his fourth final of the year, the most of any player on tour. He will now be looking to become the first player to win three titles in 2019. He also recorded his 27th win of the year, which is also the most of anyone on tour. He has now won eight consecutive singles matches for the second time this year. Should he win the final, it would be his fourth career ATP title and first at the Masters 1000 level.
The Greek youngster will now face world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia in Sunday’s final. Djokovic defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem (world number five) in straight sets in the semifinals. Tsitsipas and Djokovic have met once before, when Tsitsipas stunned Djokovic in Toronto last August, where the Greek became the youngest player ever to defeat four top 10 opponents in the same tournament. Tsitsipas will now be looking to beat his third top four opponent in a row here in Madrid.
Additionally, Tsitsipas is set to move up to a new-career high when the next rankings are released on Monday. Currently ranked ninth in the world (with a career-best of number eight), Tsitsipas will be seventh with a loss against Djokovic, or sixth with a win.
In doubles, Tsitsipas’ run with his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof came to an end in the semifinals, as they fell to the Dutch-Romanian duo of Rojer and Tecau, 6-4 5-7 10-5. As a result of making it to the semifinals, Tsitsipas will now move up from 101 in the doubles rankings to a new career-high of 75 or 76, depending on other results.