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Diego Schwartzman owns a 38-22 tour-level record this year.

Slow Start, Fast Finish For Schwartzman In Vienna

Argentine to meet Monfils or Bedene in semi-finals

In a meeting of Nitto ATP Finals contenders, Diego Schwartzman defeated Karen Khachanov 7-6(6), 6-2 at the Erste Bank Open on Friday.

Competing in his 60th tour-level encounter of the year (38-22), the Argentine rallied from 0-3 down in the opener and broke serve on four occasions to record his second FedEx ATP Head2Head victory in three meetings against Khachanov. As a result of the quarter-final win, Schwartzman moves into 14th position in the ATP Race To London.

With 1,995 points, the Los Cabos champion is now 665 points behind fellow Vienna semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini in the Race. The Italian currently occupies the eighth and final qualification position for the elite eight-man event to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

Schwartzman will meet fourth seed Gael Monfils or Aljaz Bedene for a place in the championship match. The 27-year-old owns one victory from three FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against both players.

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Khachanov overpowered Schwartzman in the early stages, dictating rallies with his forehand to establish a 3-0, double-break advantage. But Schwartzman fought back, ripping a forehand return winner to get on the scoreboard in the fourth game.

With Khachanov serving for the set at 5-4, Schwartzman levelled the set with impressive accuracy. The Argentine fired a series of low passing shots as Khachanov attempted to close the net and eventually claimed the opener in the tie-break after his opponent committed his first double fault.

Schwartzman carried the momentum into the second set, landing another backhand passing shot to break in the opening game. The fifth seed increased his advantage four games later and converted his first match point as Khachanov fired his forehand return beyond the baseline.

"It was really difficult in the beginning, I didn't feel very well. He was playing good tennis, but I think I was doing many mistakes and many unforced errors,” said Schwartzman. “I started to change my game and then I had one break back at 3-0.

“I was just one break down and when he was serving for the set I had a little bit of luck in a few points and I did the comeback. In the second set, I think my tennis was better than his and I felt really well at the end.”

Khachanov was bidding to become the first Russian semi-finalist in Vienna since Andrei Chesnokov in 1992. The World No. 9 currently sits in 16th position in the Race and will now travel to Paris to defend his Rolex Paris Masters crown.

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