Stefanos Tsitsipas cruises into National Bank Open semifinals

Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the semifinals at the National Bank Open in Toronto after beating Casper Ruud of Norway 6-1, 6-4.

The No. 3 seed from Greece jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, winning 2-of-3 break points and 84 per cent of his service points in a brisk 23-minute first set.

Ruud, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, battled back in the second, holding serve and keeping pace with his opponent’s repeated drop shots until Tsitsipas finally broke him with a shot down the line to take a 5-4 lead.

Tsitsipas finished off the one hour, 14-minute match with an ace, his eighth of the day.

Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka, both of Belarus, kicked off the quarterfinals at the women’s tournament in Montreal on Friday, with the No. 1-seed Sabalenka taking a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Sabalenka, the world No. 3, went down 4-2 in the second set before winning four games in a row, and had seven aces across the one hour, 19-minute match.

No Canadian singles players made it through to the tournament’s quarter-finals. Bianca Adreescu, the defending tournament champion,¬†battled through two hotly contested sets Friday before Jabeur pulled away in the third for a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 third-round victory.

WATCH | Aryna Sabalenka advances to semifinals: 

Sabalenka beats Azarenka in quarter-final battle of Belarusians at National Bank Open

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated fellow countrywoman Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the National Bank Open semifinals. 1:16

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and doubles partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil will look to secure a spot in the semifinals when they face top seeds Sabalenka and Elise Mertens of Germany.

Success on Canadian soil is nothing new to Tsitsipas. The world No. 3 made it to the finals of the tournament formerly known as the National Bank Open in 2018, losing to Rafael Nadal.

Ruud, the world No. 12, came into Friday on a 14-match win streak, having collected recent victories at tournaments in Austria, Switzerland and Sweden.

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