Kukushkin Knocks Out Paire In Nur-Sultan

Mikhail Kukushkin (photo: Astana Open)

STARNBERG, October 29, 2020

The top half of the singles draw at the Astana Open was in action on Thursday to complete the quarterfinals line-up of the ATP Tour 250 event held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Home favourite Mikhail Kukushkin knocked out top seed Benoit Paire of France 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-1.

The World No. 91 withstood 13 aces and broke his opponent’s serve four times to prevail after two hours and 17 minutes.


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“I’m thrilled with my win here. I knew he is not consistent. I had to believe in myself and I did it today,” said Kuskushkin after the match.

The 32-year-old Nur-Sultan resident of Russian descent has reached the stage of the final eight at ATP level for the first time since St. Petersburg last year and will next take on Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori, who fought past No. 8 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. The 21-year-old from Helsinki converted four of his five break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and three minutes.

“It was a good match,” Ruusuvuori said and was pleased with his performance. “I lost some tough matches in the last few weeks, today I used all my  experiences of these matches to get through. I’m feel good with my game and like the conditions here.

My aim was to crack the Top 100 this year and I have already achieved my goal, but I will keep it rolling and see how far I can go,” the World No. 98 from Helsinki added.

No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino of France cruised past Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-1 in 61 minutes to face US-American Mackenzie McDonald in the quarterfinals. The 25-year-old from California battled past Italian wild card entry Andreas Seppi 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The encounter lasted two hours and one minute.