BARCELONA – The 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas (World No 63) defeated 7-5, 6-3 Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (World No. 11) in the semifinal of Barcelona Open recording the biggest win of his career.
The Greek champion, who hasn’t lost a single set in the whole tournament, faces Rafael Nadal in the final that will be held on Sunday.
The #NextGenATP Greek, served five aces and won 78 per cent of first-serve points (31/40) to advance to the final after one-hour and 35 minutes.
“Stefanos is a great player,” Nadal said. “Always the young players have something special and he’s playing with big confidence. He’s playing so well, so it’s going to be a very tough match.”
On his way to the final Tsitsipas defeated Diego Schwartzman, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Dominic Thiem before Saturday’s triumph over Pablo Carreno Busta.
Tsitsipas, No. 63 in the world, is the youngest finalist in Barcelona since 2005. He is trying to become the first unseeded champion in the tournament since Gaston Gaudio in 2002.
“I went onto the court and enjoyed every single moment,” said Tsitsipas, who can become the first Greek to win an ATP Tour title. “I am very proud of myself and also I believe I made my country proud.”
A Greek hadn’t made it to a final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973.
It will be the first match between Nadal and Tsitsipas.
“I have watched millions of his matches on clay,” Tsitsipas said. “I know the way he is playing and, I think, the way he is going to play against me. I was preparing for this match already, 10 years (ago). I’m going to go out there, enjoy it and play my best.”
(Material from Associated Press and Athens Macedoanian Agency was used in this report)