Kukushkin Marches Into Irving Tennis Classic Semi-Finals

The world number 90 from Kazakhstan upset Karen Khachanov to set a clash with Dustin Brown at the ATP Challenger in Texas. The pair will be joined by Andrey Rublev and Aljaz Bedene.

Kukushkin Mikhail Kukushkin (photo: Tessa Kolodny)

IRVING, March 18, 2017

The semi-finals are set at $150,000 BMW of Dallas Irving Tennis Classic, held at the Four Seasons Resort at Club at Las Colinas. No seeded player has been left in the singles draw, as Mikhail Kukushkin knocked out the tournament’s number three Karen Khachanov from Russia 6-4, 7-6 on Friday.

The 29-year-old from Kazakhstan won 79 per cent of his first service points and capitalized on two of his nine break point chances to advance in one hour and 35 minutes. Kukushkin will appear in the stage of the final four for the second time this season following the Memphis Open.

He will next take on Dustin Brown. The World No. 82 from Germany, who is competing in his first ATP Challenger event of the season, cruised past US-American recipient Tim Smyczek, winning 6-4, 6-2 in only 56 minutes of play. The pair will meet for the first time.

2015 champion Aljaz Bedene has improved to 12-1 at the Irving Tennis Classic, saving 13 of the 14 break points he faced against US-American youngster Jared Donaldson. The 27-year-old Briton finished the encounter after one hour and 48 minutes.

Bedene will take on Andrey Rublev. The ATP NextGen star from Russia beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-4. Rublev sent down nine aces and broke serve four times to seal victory in one hour and 17 minutes. Bedene and Rublev will square off for the first time.