Khachanov Sets All-Russian SF In Moscow
It's only fitting that at the VTB Kremlin Cup, held in Moscow, the Top 2 Russians in the ATP Rankings will battle for a spot in the final.
Two-time ATP World Tour titlist Karen Khachanov thrilled his home crowd with a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory against Sofia champion Mirza Basic on Friday to reach the semi-finals at this event for the first time.
Khachanov has climbed as high as No. 24 in the ATP Rankings this year, and he showed his talent by not only earning his second tour-level crown at the Open 13 Provence, but also making the semi-finals at the Rogers Cup. That was his first trip to the last four at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament (l. to Nadal).
Khachanov will next face a friend in Daniil Medvedev. The Russian No. 1 beat lucky loser Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to set his second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Khachanov. Medvedev beat his compatriot at last year's Next Gen ATP Finals in four sets.
"I have no choice. We are both Russians. We are both playing at home. We are both motivated to win," Khachanov said of playing his friend. "We are friends off court, but on court we are rivals. I think we're going to have a great match."
Medvedev is one of the most in-form players in the world at the moment, recently capturing his third title of the season at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2018. Medvedev did not own a tour-level trophy when the year began, but the second seed could claim championship No. 4 this week, which would be his first on home soil.
France’s Adrian Mannarino saved five set points at 5-6 in the first set and withstood 14 aces from Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov in a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over one hour and 31 minutes on Friday for a place in the semi-finals.
Mannarino, who is pursuing his maiden ATP World Tour title, will next play Italy’s Andreas Seppi. The 2012 Moscow champion recovered from 1-4 down in the second set to beat fourth-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 53 minutes. He is through to his third tour-level semi-final of the year (also the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament and the Gazprom Hungarian Open).
Krajicek/Ram Reach Doubles Final
Second-seeded Americans Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram, who captured two ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2015 at Leon and Guadalajara, booked a place in the final with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Andreas Mies and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo in 69 minutes.