10:35 PM GMT April 28, 2018
Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek to reach an ATP World Tour final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973 (Des Moines) on Saturday, defeating Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-4 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
"I couldn't have enjoyed it more, I went onto the court and enjoyed every single moment," said Tsitsipas, who will have a chance to become the first player from Greece to win an ATP World Tour title. "I am very proud of myself and also I believe I made my country proud."
The 19-year-old is the youngest finalist in Barcelona since 2005 (Nadal) and will be bidding to become the first unseeded champion since Gaston Gaudio in 2002 when he faces 10-time champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday's championship match. The World No. 1 defeated Belgium's David Goffin 6-4, 6-0 to reach his 11th final at the event. Tsitsipas and Nadal have never played one another.
"I have watched millions of his matches on clay," said Tsitsipas. "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, ten years [ago]. I'm going to go out there, enjoy it and play my best."
The #NextGenATP Greek, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament, 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. As a result of his run to the final, Tsitsipas is projected to break into the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in his career and also rise to No. 2 in the ATP Race to Milan.
Before this season, Tsitsipas owned just four match wins on the ATP World Tour. Today’s victory is the Greek star’s 11th success of the season and his sixth on clay, having won his first tour-level match on the surface last week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Shapovalov).
Spaniards Into Doubles Final
Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, unrelated, defeated Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 to advance to the final, in which they will play Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer, who also won a Match Tie-break in their semi-final victory on Friday. Lopez/Lopez are pursuing their first team title since 2016 Roland Garros.
Did You Know?
Stefanos Tsitsipas has beaten four of the Top 10 seeds, who own a combined 314 wins on clay, en route to the final. The 19-year-old defeated Diego Schwartzman, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Dominic Thiem before Saturday’s triumph over Pablo Carreno Busta.