Rafael Nadal faces birthday boy Stefano Tsitsipas in Toronto Masters final

Nadal dominated in his only previous meeting with Tsitsipas, a straight sets win in the final of the Barcelona Open on the Spaniard's preferred surface of clay.

The 19-year-old Tsitsipas beat seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem and ninth-seeded Novak Djokovic to reach the quarterfinals.

The flashy Athens native delivered a brilliant backhand crosscourt victor to stay alive before firing an ace to secure a third match point.

Nadal said in quotes reported by the Rogers Cup Twitter account: "I'm happy about everything". I would never imagine that I could pull this out in a single tournament.

"I am looking forward to play that match". Ranked 27th, Tsitsipas will jump to 12th with a victory Sunday and to 15th with a loss when the new rankings are released Monday.

"At the same time it had to happen for me to really understand myself on a deeper level, understand what I need to do and in which way I need to approach this sport and training and to get myself back on a desired level".

The outcome over Anderson was decided in a tight third-set tiebreaker, with Tsitsipas blowing his first two winning chances with a double-fault and a forehand error.

At 1-1 in the second set, Tsitsipas won a long rally at deuce and completed the break when Anderson pushed a return wide.

The Greek saved all four break points he faced while breaking Anderson once in the afternoon struggle.

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"He stayed pretty solid throughout the match".

Tsitsipas admitted he was so focused on each point in the third-set tiebreaker that he actually lost track of the score.

"Sometimes when you concentrate too much, you lose the reality of what's happening", he said with a laugh.

"I worked very hard, probably harder than ever".

Khachanov, the world No. 38 from Russian Federation, lost his first set of the week to the three-time Rogers Cup champion.

The 32-year-old Anderson reached the Wimbledon final last month.

Next up for Tsitsipas is a showdown with big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, who thrashed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 earlier on Friday.

Play wraps up Sunday at the US$5.94-million tournament on the York University campus.

Analyzing Khachanov's qualities, Nadal said: 'He's a great server.

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