Nineteen-year-old Athenian Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s Barcelona Open final after beating Spanish fifth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-3.
Tsitsipas, the world number 63, is producing the best tennis of his career and becomes the first Greek player to reach an ATP Tour final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in Des Moines in 1973.
Tsistipas, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament, is the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal in 2005.
After defeating world number seven Dominic Thiem on Friday, he served five aces and won 78% of first serves to see off his Spanish rival in one hour 35 minutes.
While Tsitsipas will be tasked with trying to become the first player since Dominic Thiem in Rome last year to topple Nadal, he is not fearful of his illustrious opponent.
So much so, that he has admitted he has been preparing for Nadal, who he will be facing for the first time on Sunday, for the past 10 years.
“I have watched millions of his matches on clay,” Tsitsipas said.
“I know the way he is playing and, I think, the way he is going to play against me.
On reaching the final, Tsitisipas added: “I am very proud of myself and also I believe I made my country proud.”
Whatever the result of Sunday’s final, he will become the first Greek player to break into the world’s top 50 when the latest men’s rankings are released on Monday.