Stefanos Tsitsipas had two reasons to celebrate on Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, when he beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the second time and also qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in November.
The sixth-seeded Greek recovered from a slow start to record the biggest match win of his career against Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 for a place in the semi-finals.
When walking onto court, Tsitsipas did not know he’d already become the sixth player to clinch a spot at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, after Daniil Medvedev beat fellow contender Fabio Fognini. But the 21-year-old, who captured the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals crown last year, was clearly delighted.
With the loss, Djokovic trails Rafael Nadal (9,225) by 1,280 points in the 2019 ATP Race To London and the battle for year-end No. 1.
“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,” Djokovic said. “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.”
More to follow…