Leader Daniil Medvedev committed eleven double faults when he lost 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-3 to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals of the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.
Medvedev helped seal his own fate in the sixth game of the final set as he made four double faults to put his Greek opponent 4-2 ahead.
Tsitsipas will play Croatia’s Borna Coric for the title on Sunday, who made his return to an ATP Masters final for the first time in four years by beating Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4.
Tsitsipas won only his third game against Medvedev after losing seven, and also defeated a reigning number one for the second time in 12 career attempts.
The fourth seedling cornered a winner on the first of three match points to advance to the finals.
“I knew I would have a difficult task in the third set,” said Tsitsipas. “He made it a very physical match, very demanding.
“But I took advantage of his missed first serves. They gave me time to think clearly about my next move. I was very calm and focused on each individual task.”
World No. 152 Coric, who missed a year with a shoulder problem and only returned to the Tour in March, advanced in 91 minutes in a match delayed for hours by a rainy afternoon.
“It’s been a long day. I wasn’t expecting to play in the evening,” said Coric. “It was a crazy day, but it ended very well.”
Coric is the second-lowest finalist since the rankings began in 1973, with number 191 Andrei Pavel setting that standard when playing for the 2003 Roland Garros title.
Coric overcame a slow start marred by 14 unforced errors in the first six games and set about improving the level of his tennis.
The Croatian, who lost a Masters final to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai in 2018, limited Norrie to nine winners while sending over 17 along with 24 unforced errors.
“I played extremely well but I wasn’t there at the beginning,” said Coric. “Then I found my rhythm and started serving better. That was the key to the match.”
– Kvitova meets Garcia –
In the women’s semifinals, French qualifier Caroline Garcia survived two rainy days to reach the final, beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
Garcia plays for the title on Sunday against Czech Petra Kvitova, who posted a 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-3 comeback triumph over American Madison Keys.
Garcia is the first qualifier to ever reach the championship match at a Masters tournament.
Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who made semifinals in 2012 and 2018, will be seeking her 30th career title in her first Cincinnati final.
Garcia maintained control of sixth-seeded Sabalenka in their competition, which saw weather disruptions total four hours. She broke six times in a match that spanned two hours of play.
“What a day it was,” said number 35 Garcia. “Last night I was excited to be in the semifinals.
“Aryna is a difficult opponent, so fast, so strong. We had a lot of very tough rallies and tough weather. You never knew when you would come back on the pitch – but we did it.”
The pair returned after the second stoppage and played three more games as Garcia finished the win.
“Nobody expected it,” she said. “It feels great. I’ve had a long journey in Cincinnati. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m happy to be in the final.”
It took Kvitova, 32, two hours and 20 minutes to eliminate Keys.
“It was an incredible game. I expected it to be tough – but not that tough,” said Kvitova. “In the end I got emotional, the match was so tough mentally.”
She will return to the top-20 on the leaderboard after 24 winners and 16 unforced errors.
“I have no idea how I came back,” said Kvitova. “In the beginning I lost my serve with three double faults and that wasn’t really good.”