Match Report

Khachanov Continues Title Quest In Zhuhai, Reaches SFs

Korda, Karatsev reach last four
September 24, 2023
Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships
Karen Khachanov celebrates on Sunday in Zhuhai. By ATP Staff

Karen Khachanov continued his comeback with a thrilling victory on Sunday at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships.

The top seed was pushed hard by sixth seed Mackenzie McDonald, advancing 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes to reach his third tour-level semi-final of the season.

In hot conditions at the Chinese ATP 250 hard-court event, Khachanov recovered from a slow start, increasing his intensity and depth off the ground to improve to 4-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against the American.

"It was very tough," Khachanov said. "A mental and physical match. I was behind from the beginning and he was leading the match. I had to try to push and bring all the energy to change the momentum and the way the match was going and I think in the second set from 4-4 I was able to push through and win the second set. It gave me extra confidence and in the third set to be more in a leading position towards the end of the match."

Khachanov, who is chasing his first title since 2018, will meet Sebastian Korda in the last four. The 27-year-old was competing for just the third time in singles since his quarter-final match at Roland Garros, where he suffered a stress fracture in his back. He fell in the first round at the US Open, but has recorded consecutive wins in Zhuhai, also defeating Alex Bolt.

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Korda improved to 6-0 against Argentine players when he defeated fifth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1, 6-2 in 72 minutes. The American, who is chasing his first title of the season, hit 21 winners and did not face a break point to advance.

Korda is up to No. 28 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his 18th tour-level win of the season. His best result this year was a final run in Adelaide, where he held championship point against Novak Djokovic.

Aslan Karatsev earned his first Top 20 hard-court victory in almost two years, overcoming World No. 17 Cameron Norrie 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

Karatsev beat former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round and backed that up with another aggressive display against lefty Norrie, striking 29 winners to advance into his third tour-level semi-final of the year after two hours and 23 minutes. Karatsev's previous Top 20 win on hard courts came against Denis Shapovalov in Indian Wells in October 2021.

Next up will be another lefty, Yoshihito Nishioka. The eighth seed eliminated third seed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 30 minutes.

The Japanese star saved four of the five break points he faced and is two wins from lifting an ATP Tour trophy for the second consecutive year after triumphing in Seoul in 2022.

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