Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas stuns Novak Djokovic in Shanghai Masters quarter-finals

World No 1 and reigning champion beaten in three sets and admits the young Greek 'deserved to win'

Novak Djokovic lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals on Friday. AP 
Novak Djokovic lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals on Friday. AP 

World No 1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets on Friday.

The young Greek will now play another highly promising talent in his Saturday semi-final match against 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev.

The seventh-ranked Tsitsipas recovered from losing the opening three games in just seven minutes to shock the reigning champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

He sealed the deal with a gleeful smash and held both arms aloft. Calling it the best comeback of his nascent career, the seventh-ranked Tsitsipas said he dreamt of beating the "Big Three".

But rather than being intimidated by then, Tsitsipas said: "I honestly feel like they are more threatened than I am and that makes me more relaxed on court.

"I know I just have to hang in there and be able to be more aggressive. Once you get aggressive and they see you going for it, I might even say they get scared."

Djokovic said of the world No 7: "He had the high-quality tennis and he played very well after his serve.

"He was backing up his serve with really good and aggressive first shots in the rally.

"I didn't make him defend enough. I just gave him enough time to really dictate the play from back of the court and he deserved to win."

Tsitsipas has now defeated the top-ranked 32-year-old Serbian twice in their three matches – further proof that the 21-year-old is a serious contender at the top of men's tennis.

After a dreadful start, he found his feet in the second set, winning on a tie break, then went 3-1 up in the decider when Djokovic planted his forehand wide on the third break point.

It was a double celebration for the young Greek, who has also confirmed his place in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals.

He did so after fourth-ranked Medvedev tamed self-styled "wild horse" Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6 to canter into the semi-finals. Fognini was vying for a place at the Finals.

Medvedev – another of the next generation – sent down 12 aces to help see off Fognini and said: "I don't know what happened, my serve was crushing it."

The Russian has a 12-0 record in quarter-finals this year and Djokovic this week described him as "very complete" player.

Roger Federer, the 20-time grand slam champion, faces young German Alexander Zverev later Friday in his quarter-final.

The other match is between Austria's Dominic Thiem, who beat Tsitsipas to the China Open title on Sunday, and Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Novak Djokovic in China. AFP
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Novak Djokovic in China. AFP

Updated: October 11, 2019 04:00 PM

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