Shevchenko upsets Khachanov to book Metz SF spot

by IANS |

Metz, Nov 10 (IANS) Alexander Shevchenko booked his first appearance in an ATP Tour semi-final in style beating Karen Khanchanov on Thursday at the Moselle Open.

The 22-year-old downed third seed Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-4 at the indoor ATP 250 in Metz for just his second victory against an opponent in the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Shevchenko saved all three break points he faced to upset the World No. 15 Khachanov in a 73-minute quarter-final clash.

After defeating Mathias Bourgue, Mate Valkusz and Khachanov this week in Metz, Shevchenko has risen three spots to No. 60 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, setting him up for a career-high next Monday. He has enjoyed a breakout season on the ATP Tour, notching 15 tour-level wins and reaching his first quarter-final at the ATP 500 in Basel two weeks ago.

Shevchenko’s next opponent in France will be Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who ended #NextGenATP Luca Van Assche’s run with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win. Herbert had not won a tour-level singles match in more than 20 months prior to this week but is now preparing for the 12th ATP Tour semi-final of his career.

“The feeling is special because I think I played a great match with Luca,” said Herbert, who sent down 20 aces in his two-hour, 34-minute win. “[It was] a battle of two games that are really different, and I’m happy I came through and managed to win. It’s a special week… Three good matches, I managed to win all three, and now I’m in the semi-finals.”

In the Metz evening session, fourth seed Ugo Humbert became the second home favourite in the last four by overcoming another Frenchman, qualifier Harold Mayot, 6-3, 7-5. Humbert will meet Fabio Fognini next, after the Italian breezed past defending champion Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2 to reach his first tour-level semi-final of the season.

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