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Karen Khachanov records his fifth Top 30 win of 2018 by beating Kei Nishikori on Wednesday in Halle.

Khachanov Beats Nishikori, Faces Bautista Agut In Halle Quarter-finals

Bautista Agut clinical in win over Haase

Russia’s Karen Khachanov recorded his 20th victory of the season on Thursday by beating seventh seed Kei Nishikori of Japan at the Gerry Weber Open for a place in the quarter-finals.

Khachanov overcame Nishikori 6-2, 6-2 for his fifth win over a member of the Top 30 in the ATP Rankings in 2018 and will now challenge fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on Friday. The pair is 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but have never met before on a grass court.

The 22-year-old Khachanov broke Nishikori’s serve in both the opening and seventh games of each set en route to victory in 78 minutes. He is now 20-12 on the season, which includes his second ATP World Tour title at the Open 13 Provence (d. Pouille).

“I think today I just made too many unforced errors,” said Nishikori. “He was playing well, but nothing special. I think today I couldn't hit [many] good serves and also I should have tried to stay a little bit more on the baseline… Karen hits very flat and he’s not easy to play against on grass.”

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Bautista Agut booked a spot in the Halle quarter-finals for the second successive year with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Robin Haase of the Netherlands in one hour and 35 minutes. The Spaniard won the first of his eight ATP World Tour titles on grass at the 2014 Libema Open (d. Becker).

Bautista Agut took a 3-1 lead in the first set, but was quickly clawed back by Haase. The Spaniard broke to love in the final game, then recovered from 0/40 at 4-4 in the second set and broke Haase again in the 12th game. The 30-year-old also beat Haase 7-6(5) in a third set tie-break en route to the ASB Classic title in the second week of the 2018 season.

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