TORONTO — Alexander Zverev blew a chance to defend his Rogers Cup title, and after losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday in the quarterfinals, blew away any false pretences.
In a somewhat testy news conference with reporters at the Aviva Centre, Zverev was in no mood to mince words.
“Even if I would have won, it wasn’t a good match,” said Zverev, who beat Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final in Montreal last summer.
“I didn’t feel the ball at all. I didn’t play well. I was playing bad the whole match.
“I don’t think he played that well. I think the match was absolutely pathetic on all levels. I’m very honest with you guys. I always say when the opponent plays better. I’m probably one of the most honest guys on tour. Today was a pathetic match from — I don’t even think he played well.”
In a match marked with errors on both sides, Zverev won the first set, but then lost the next two.
Twice, Tsitsipas saved match point in a duel that took two hours 27 minutes to complete. On match point, Zverev double-faulted, giving Tsitsipas a 6-4 victory in the deciding set.
Tsitsipas sloughed off Zverev’s honest view of the proceedings.
“I’m working with a sports psychologist who is really good,” Tsitsipas said. “And he told me something, and I’ve remembered it for four or five years, and it’s that a good player can be seen in his bad day. And I completely agree with that.
“The level of tennis, in my opinion, was not the highest. It was all right. I would say I played okay. I kind of fooled him when I was on the court and did some things that he didn’t expect me to do.”
QUICK, BUT NOT EASY
Karen Khachanov acknowledged he was a “little bit” surprised to dispose of Robin Haase in just 55 minutes in the third quarterfinal on Friday.
Khachanov, ranked No. 39 in the world, beat No. 38 Haase 6-3, 6-1 to move on to the semifinals on Saturday.
“I didn’t expect that maybe the score would be — it looks easy, but the match was not that easy, let’s say,” Khachanov said. “There were some difficult moments, especially at the beginning. Maybe it was not that beautiful game at the beginning, but then I found more the rhythm of my game, and I started to play better.”
It was the first career meeting between the 22-year-old Khachanov, a native of Russia, and the 31-year-old Haase, a native of the Netherlands. Khachanov really didn’t have much trouble, winning 91% of his first-serve points and 63% of his second-serve points.
When play begins on Saturday, it will make Khachanov’s first Masters 1000 semi.
“I’m happy with this performance that I could reach my first semifinal,” Khachanov said. “But I don’t want to be satisfied because there is always something that you can do better.”
SEMIS ON TAP
Tsitsipas will face Kevin Anderson in one semifinal, while Khachanov will clash with Rafael Nadal, who defeated Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 late Friday night.
In their only previous meeting, Tsitsipas beat Anderson earlier this season.
“A very tough opponent to face on hard courts,” Tsitsipas said of Anderson. “He has a huge serve. He can be really dangerous.
“He’s attacking a lot and takes the ball early. I’m walking in with low expectations. I know he’s the favourite again. I’m going to try to remain calm.
“It’s going to be a tough match.”
Tsitsipas, at 19, is the youngest player since Nadal in 2006 at Monte Carlo to beat three top-10 players in the same tournament.
“Amazing,” Tsitsipas said. “Achieving such things makes me feel nice. I’m very proud of who I am and at such (a young) age to do this kind of (thing), which I never expected. I always thought it would take a few more years for this to happen.
“But with the hard work that I’ve been doing, it’s no surprise to me. I believe I have the game to compete against these players.”
After creating a bit of a Twitter controversy earlier in the week when he moaned about being taken off centre court because of a rain delay, Denis Shapovalov, ousted on Thursday, had a positive message to send via social media on Friday. “Thank you Toronto,” Shapovalov tweeted. “It was so much fun playing in front of my home fans. Can’t wait to come back here for Davis Cup.” … A day after he was eliminated in singles play, Novak Djokovic was ousted in the doubles draw. Djokovic and partner Kevin Anderson lost 7-5, 7-5 to Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya … In the opening doubles quarterfinal, the top-seeded pair of Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic beat seventh-seeded Jean-Julien Roger and Horia Tecau 6-7 (5), 7-5, 10-6 … Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus upset fourth-seeded Jack Sock and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5), 6-4, while second-seeded Henri Kontinen and John Peers eliminated Sam Querrey and Rajeev Ram 7-6 (7), 6-3 … In the doubles semis on Saturday, Marach/Pavic will meet Klaasen/Venus and Mektic/Peya will face Kontinen/Peers.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies