Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest player to beat four straight top-10 players in an event since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990, outlasting Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (7) on Saturday to reach the Rogers Cup final.
"These kind of matches you need to play very well to win, and that's what I'm going to try".
"I'm secure and I'm aggressive at the same time", Tsitsipas said. Tsitsipas often moved deep in the backcourt to give some different looks and displayed a solid volley game when he pushed forward.
But coach Popovic, who works with fellow Serbian player Filip Krajinovic, still thinks his countryman will start as the one to beat at Flushing Meadows later this week.
But Tsitsipas managed to save two match points and shifted the momentum after edging Zverev in a marathon second-set tiebreak. He'll crack the top 15 in the world rankings next week.
Tsitsipas's breakout season has included a run to the final in Barcelona - where he lost to Nadal in their only previous meeting - and semifinal appearances in Estoril and Washington. Anderson couldn't convert two break-point chances at 3-4 and Tsitsipas later held at love to force a deciding set. "It's obviously incredibly hard losing a match like where it's so close at such a big stage of the tournament", Anderson said. "Today, he definitely deserved to win".
He double-faulted on his first match point at 6-4, mistakenly thinking it was 5-3. "It's not the first time".
He will be the first unseeded finalist in Canada since Nicolas Kiefer in 2008.
Fourth seed Anderson, runner-up at Wimbledon last month, was never broken and won 81 percent of his first serves. Anderson beat fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2.
Analyzing Khachanov's qualities, Nadal said: 'He's a great server. It's expected to be the last competitive appearance for the 45-year-old Toronto player.