10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Opelka Stuns Tsitsipas at Toronto Masters Tennis, will Meet Medvedev in Final

Reilly Opelka of the US celebrates his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the semifinals of the National Bank Open men’s tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada, 14 August 2021. EPA-EFE/WARREN TODA



By Ricky Dimon

Serving as big as ever but also showcasing impressive all-court tennis, Reilly Opelka produced his best-ever result by reaching the final of the National Bank Open on Saturday afternoon. Opelka did it by upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The 32nd-ranked American struck 17 aces, served at 72 percent, and saved the only break point he faced. A crucial break at 4-4 in the third set allowed him to serve for the match one game later, which he did at love.

Opelka earned his first win over a top 5 opponent and is through to a Masters 1000 final for the first time. He had previously played in one such semi, losing to Rafael Nadal in Rome this spring.

Reilly Opelka of the US in action against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the semifinals of the National Bank Open menÕs tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada, 14 August 2021. EPA-EFE/WARREN TODA



“This was my second (Masters 1000) semifinal, which helps a lot,” the 23-year-old reflected. “I played Rafa in Rome; I didn’t play my best tennis, but I’m really thankful that I had that moment because it allowed be to be more relaxed today.

“I played great. These courts suit my game.”

The conditions suited John Isner’s game, as well, but an apparent injury–and also world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev–ended the 6’10” American’s run. Medveded mauled a hobbled Isner 6-2, 6-2 in the nightcap.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia in action against John Isner of the USA during their semifinal match of the National Bank Open tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada, 14 August 2021. EPA-EFE/WARREN TODA



“I was playing great today,” the Russian assessed. “I think I almost did no unforced errors. I’m really happy with my game at this moment. I always like coming to the U.S. 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 thing.”

Sunday’s championship match will be the fifth encounter between Medvedev and Opelka. The top seed leads the head-to-head series 3-1, including 2-0 on outdoor hard courts.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.