Paris | Khachanov to face Thiem in the semis
Karen Khachanov demolished fourth seed Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 to power into the Paris Rolex Masters semi-finals in the first of the afternoon matches.
When you are playing and you are losing sometimes, you just get a little bit frustrated and upset, Everything is fine between us and there is no problem Karen Khachanov
Khachanov, the winner at last month’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, will now meet Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem who knocked out defending champion Jack Sock, the 16th-seeded American, 4-6 6-4 6-4 in the second quarter-final scheduled on Friday.
World number 18 Khachanov saved two match points against John Isner in the last 16 but needed just over an hour to dispatch an out-of-sorts Zverev, who dropped his serve six times in eight games.
Khachanov, 22, shrugged off complaints from Zverev over noise coming from the Russian player’s box during the match.
“When you are playing and you are losing sometimes, you just get a little bit frustrated and upset,” said Khachanov, who has reached the last-four of a Masters for the second time after a semi-final run in Toronto.
“Everything is fine between us and there is no problem,” the powerfully built Russian added.
Thiem continued his bid to qualify for the ATP Finals for the third consecutive year by knocking out the American after two-hours and 14minutes to push him out of the top 100 in the rankings.
Thiem’s three set win means, his first at Masters 1000 level, will face Khachanov in what will be an intriguing battle to make the final.
It was a tough start for Thiem who started slowly as the American stormed to an early 3-0 lead with some impressive forehands to go on and claim the first set with his second break of serve.
Thiem responded well in the second set as Sock got slower and lost his focus.
A crucial break in the seventh game was enough for the Austrian to force a deciding set and with the momentum behind him, booked his place in the last four comfortably.