Straight-set win has Gasquet in Kremlin Cup semifinals

Oct. 18, 2013 at 2:01 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- No. 1-seed Richard Gasquet fought off five break points in gaining a spot in the semifinals of the ATP's Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow.

Gasquet beat Russian wild-card entrant Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in four tournaments, a streak that began at the U.S. Open.

Gasquet went 4-for-4 in beating back break points in the first set and Gabashvili failed to convert the one chance he had in the second. Even with the five break points, Gasquet won nearly three-quarters of the points on serve.

No. 2-seeded Andreas Seppi, the defending Moscow Cup champion, also made the semifinals, advancing when, after Seppi was up 5-2 in the first set, Edouard Roger-Vasselin retired with a neck injury.

Ivo Karlovic was on the court 52 minutes in dispatching Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-0. Karlovic lost a mere five points in his eight games serving. He had 11 aces Friday and has 42 aces in his three matches so far in the tournament.

Mikhail Kukushkin defeated his Kazakhstani countryman Andrey Golubev 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in a quarterfinal battle of qualifiers. Kukushkin won more than 70 percent of the points on serve but still only won two more overall -- 61-59 -- than Golubev.

Kukushkin and Seppi will face off in the first semifinal Saturday. Seppi won a five-set match in the 2012 French Open in their only previous meeting. Gasquet and Karlovic are 1-1 in previous matches.

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