Tsitsipas tops Ruud to reach semifinals in Toronto

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Casper Ruud of Norway 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the National Bank Open.

Tsitsipas jumped to a 5-0 lead and finished the first set in 23 minutes. Ruud battled back in the second, holding serve and keeping pace with his opponent’s drop shots. Tsitsipas finally broke him with a shot down the line to lead 5-4. The Greek star ended the 74-minute match at this U.S. Open tuneup with his eighth ace.

“Every single opponent that I’ve had to face is someone that has played good in the past. … And I’ve dealt with these situations really well,” Tsitsipas said.

On Saturday, he’ll take on American qualifier Reilly Opelka, who edged No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (1) in a quarterfinal.

“I’m excited for what’s to come,” Tsitsipas said. “And I’m always, every single day, trying to come up with solutions and ways this is going to be easier and more efficient for me.”

Tsitsipas, seeded third and ranked No. 3, lost to Novak Djokovic in the French Open final in May. He made it to the final of the Canadian Open in 2018, losing to Rafael Nadal.

Ruud, seeded sixth and ranked No. 12, had won his last 14 matches, with victories at tournaments in Austria, Switzerland and Sweden.

In later quarterfinals, it’s top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and John Isner of the U.S. against Gael Monfils of France.