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Third seed Andrey Rublev recorded his 31st match win of 2020 after beating Ugo Humbert in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Nitto ATP Finals Contenders Rublev, Shapovalov Advance In St. Petersburg

Shapovalov to next face Wawrinka

Andrey Rublev strengthened his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time on Thursday by reaching the St. Petersburg Open quarter-finals.

Third seed Rublev improved to a 31-7 record in a career-best 2020, which includes three ATP Tour titles, with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Ugo Humbert of France in two hours and 13 minutes at the ATP 500-level event. He will next play Briton Cameron Norrie.

Rublev, who is currently No. 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has 3,009 points in the battle to clinch one of the two remaining singles berths at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November. But No. 9-ranked Matteo Berrettini, who sits in the final automatic qualification berth, has 3,075 points and will lose 200 points on 9 November from a round-robin win at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.

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Denis Shapovalov, who is also a contender for a first-time spot in London, is through to the St. Petersburg quarter-finals for the second time in three years after overcoming Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes.

The Canadian is currently No. 12 in the FedEx ATP Rankings with 2,740 points — 335 points behind Berrettini. Shapovalov will next challenge fifth-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka. The pair has a 1-1 ATP Head2Head record with Wawrinka winning their last match 6-4, 7-6(4) at the 2019 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

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