© VCG/China Open

Fourth seed Karen Khachanov grows in confidence during his quarter-final victory over Fabio Fognini on Friday in Beijing.

Khachanov Grows In Confidence To Beat Fognini In Beijing

Russian reaches second semi-final of 2019

Karen Khachanov got off to a slow start on Friday, but responded with a good attitude and gameplay at the China Open to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final of the year.

The fourth-seeded Russian overcame Nitto ATP Finals contender Fabio Fognini, the sixth seed from Italy, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 46 minutes.

Khachanov will next challenge top-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, who beat 2016 champion Andy Murray of Great Britain.

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Fognini struck the ball well initially, giving Khachanov no rhythm, and took a 3-0 lead. Khachanov got back on serve at 2-3, but Fognini broke for a second time in the sixth game. The Italian led by a set and had a break point for a 2-1 advantage in the second set, before Khachanov won six of the next seven games.

The 23-year-old Khachanov, who also reached the Coupe Rogers semi-finals in Montreal (l. to Medvedev), struck 19 winners for his 25th match victory of the season (25-21).

Fognini, this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion, is currently 13th in the 2019 ATP Race To London — 1,130 points behind eighth-placed Italian Matteo Berrettini for one of the four remaining berths at the Nitto ATP Finals. The elite season finale will be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

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