Roberto Bautista hit his face this Friday against a wall measuring two meters and 11 centimeters, the one embodied by Reilly Opelka. The 23-year-old American, a classic prototype of the American school, unrepentant punch, dismounted from the Toronto Masters 1,000 with a 6-3 and 7-6 (1) in one hour and 22 minutes to get into the semifinals for the first time of the highest category of tournaments after the Grand Slams.
Opelka’s machinery in service, a tower spitting fireballs, burned from the start. A good 65% of first was his note in the partial exit. He won 88% of the points played with them and placed six aces. Bautista, who had taken his first turn at the blank serve, weakened in the second and gave up the first break. The number 32 of the world did not need more. From there, his rival, surely worn out by the epic comeback against Schwartzman in the second round, a match in which he raised three match points during the third set to end up submitting the Argentine, would not get more than two points in a game to the rest. .
In the second set the predictable happened. Opelka did not yield a millimeter with his serve and conceded another 12 direct, with 67% of first, to close his total account in 18. Bautista, for his part, went to a good 70% of first. It was raining metaphorically and really on the center court of the Aviva Center in Toronto when both contenders sealed a draw, 6-6, without a single break ball for either side in the entire sleeve, and met in the tie break. There Opelka played his cards better, again very solid in service. Bautista felt bad the break, of about seven minutes, and could only add one point before saying goodbye to the option of repeating the semifinals reached in Miami. The tower was too difficult to climb after Thursday’s overexertion and Spain is left without male representation in Miami.
Tsitsipas passes over
At the start of the evening session, Stefanos Tsitsipas took a more comfortable win than expected against Casper Ruud. The Greek, third seed in the tournament and number three in the ranking, got rid of the Norwegian, 12th in the world, with a 6-1 and 6-4 in an hour and a quarter and bought the ticket to face Opelka for a place in the final.
There was no color in a first set in which Ruud only won eleven points, the protagonist of a cataract of unforced errors. The two early turns at the service of the 22-year-old Nordic, who has accumulated four titles so far this season (Kitzbuhel, Gstaad, Bastad and Geneva) and has climbed 15 places in the ATP rankings, fell on the side of Tsitsipas, who took one long income with 5-0 and did not waste it. After a long break caused by the Hellenic, disappeared in the dressing room for almost ten minutes, the contest was equalized. But a break in the ninth game of the second set, after Ruud squandered his only break ball of the afternoon, gave the pass to Tsitsipas.
Medvedev-Isner and Tsitsipas-Opelka, defined semifinals
The world number 2, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, will face the American John Isner on Saturday in one of the semifinals of the ATP 1,000 tournament in Toronto while the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas will play the other semifinal with the also American Reilly Opelka.
Opelka, the world number 32, won this Friday the passage to the semifinals after defeating the Spanish Roberto Bautista, ranked 17 in the ATP ranking, in two sets, 3-6 and 6-7. For his part, Tsitsipas, the world number 3, defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud (12) in two sets, 6-1, 6-4. It took Medvedev three sets to beat Hubert Hurkacz (13) of Poland on Friday in Toronto. The Russian won in 2 hours and 16 minutes by 2-6, 7-6 and 7-6. Meanwhile, John Isner (30) got rid of Frenchman Gael Monfils (22), in 93 minutes by 7-6 and 6-4.