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Karen Khachanov owns a 20-12 record this season.

Khachanov Avoids Bergs Upset In Antwerp

Raonic through in straight sets

Karen Khachanov survived a scare at the European Open on Thursday, beating Belgian wild card Zizou Bergs 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

The World No. 17 claimed late breaks in the final two sets to reach his third quarter-final of 2020 after two hours and 22 minutes. Khachanov is through to the last eight at an ATP Tour event for the second straight week, having reached the St. Petersburg Open quarter-finals last week.

The Russian was forced to battle for his 20th victory this season (20-12), as Bergs played with aggression on his return and attacked Khachanov’s forehand to earn the first set. But Khachanov placed Bergs in uncomfortable positions at the net in crucial moments to turn the match in his favour.

Bergs was attempting to become the first player outside the Top 500 to reach an ATP Tour quarter-final since Andy Murray’s run to the last eight at the 2019 China Open. The 21-year-old, who was appearing in his first ATP Tour event, beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas to claim his maiden tour-level victory on Tuesday.

“A lot of people are believing a lot in me, that is an enormous boost that I don’t take for granted because when things go bad they might go away again,” said Bergs. “For myself, it is an enormous boost. I knew I could do it though, because when I started I was really confident and I was just happy I could bring it in the matches.

“Beating a Top 50 player in Ramos-Vinolas and pushing Khachanov to a really tight match, which I had opportunities in, is a great boost I will keep building on.”

Khachanov will meet British No. 1 Daniel Evans in the quarter-finals. Evans recovered from a set down to win his only previous ATP Head2Head meeting against Khachanov at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February.

Milos Raonic produced a fine serving display to reach his fifth quarter-final of the year, beating Cameron Norrie 7-5, 7-6(4). The fifth seed landed 19 aces and dropped just four points behind his first serve (34/38) to overcome the Brit in one hour and 49 minutes. Raonic is through to his second straight quarter-final on indoor hard courts, having reached the semi-finals at last week’s St. Petersburg Open (l. to Coric).

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Raonic improves to 19-8 this season and will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Dimitrov will enter his sixth ATP Head2Head encounter against the Canadian with a 3-2 record, but Raonic won the pair’s most recent clash at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open.

Raonic is attempting to capture his first ATP Tour title since beating Roger Federer to win his eighth tour-level trophy at 2016 Brisbane. The World No. 19 has reached seven finals since that triumph, including this year’s Western & Southern Open championship match (l. to Djokovic).

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