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Benoit Paire is trying to win his third ATP Tour title of the season this week in Winston-Salem.

Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

Frenchman going for his third ATP Tour title of the season

Top seed Benoit Paire of France held off the Next Generation of French talent on Wednesday at the Winston-Salem Open, but just barely.

#NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 21, served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but Paire broke and rolled in the tie-break and third set, advancing 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 to make the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 event.

“I'm really happy to win against him,” Paire said of Humbert, who's currently ranked No. 62. “When you play against a young player from your country, you want to win. It's good for the confidence.”

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The 30-year-old Paire, who was 1-5 in Winston-Salem before this week, will next meet 11th seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who beat Italy's Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(7), 6-0. The Spaniard avenged his semi-final loss to Sonego at the grass-court Turkish Airlines Open Antalya and will try to reach his third semi-final of the season (Hamburg) against Paire.

#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov won two consecutive matches for the first time since reaching the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals in March (l. to Federer), dismissing fellow #NextGenATP player Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-3. The 20-year-old Shapovalov won 80 per cent of his service points and saved four of six break points against the 19-year-old Belgrade native, who cracked the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings at No. 49 this week.

Miomir is a very tough opponent. I've played him a lot in the past. We've had some crazy battles,” said Shapovalov, who leads their tour-level FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0. “I'm really happy with the way I'm playing.”

The Canadian is currently working with former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny, who retired last September at his home St. Petersburg Open. The two will plan to continue working together at next week's US Open on a trial basis.

Shapovalov will next face Russian Andrey Rublev, Roger Federer's Cincinnati conqueror, who beat sixth seed Sam Querrey 7-6(4), 7-6(10) in a match that finished just after midnight local time. The 22-point second-set tie-break saw Rublev erase three Querrey set points and Querrey stave off two match points. But at 10/11, on Querrey's serve, Rublev smashed a forehand winner to advance in one hour, 54 minutes.

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"It's a special win for me," said Rublev, who lost to Querrey at Wimbledon in straight sets. "He just destroyed me, and now we had a great fight, and we were both so close and I was a little bit more lucky."

#NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe moved into the quarter-finals after only eight games when Serbian Filip Krajinovic retired (illness) down 2-6, and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz also advanced before two sets were complete because Spain's Feliciano Lopez retired (fatigue) down 3-6, 1-3.

Tiafoe and Hurkacz will face off for a place in the semi-finals; Tiafoe leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, including a four-set win at last year's Next Gen ATP Finals.

Aussie John Millman and Steve Johnson of the U.S. will meet for the fifth time in the quarter-finals (Johnson leads 3-1). Millman beat Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4, and Johnson overcame #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-2, 7-6(5).

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