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Gasquet To Face Karlovic In Moscow SFs

Moscow, Russia

Karlovic© Kremlin Cup / Robert MaksimovIvo Karlovic will challenge Richard Gasquet in the Moscow semi-finals.

Top seed Richard Gasquet reached the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow on Friday, dismissing Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-2. The Frenchman saved all five break points he faced and broke his opponent three times for victory in 82 minutes.

Tenth-placed Gasquet has the chance to overtake countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Emirates ATP Race To London this week, should he win the Moscow title and Tsonga fail to lift the trophy at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Four places remain up for grabs at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The 27-year-old Gasquet suffered a setback in his qualification bid last week when he was beaten in the Shanghai Rolex Masters first round, but prior to that had reached three straight semi-finals at the US Open (l. to Nadal), the Thailand Open in Bangkok (l. to Raonic) and the China Open in Beijing (l. to Djokovic). He has a 46-18 match record on the season.

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For a place in the final, Gasquet will face Ivo Karlovic, who ended 17-year-old Karen Khachanov’s run with a 6-4, 6-0 victory. The Croatian lost just five points on serve and fired 11 aces as he prevailed in 52 minutes. World No. 808 Khachanov was contesting his first ATP World Tour quarter-final after upsetting third seed Janko Tipsarevic.

Karlovic, who at 34 is twice Khachanov’s age, is through to his first semi-final since winning the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota in July (d. Falla). The right-hander has a 1-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Gasquet, winning their most recent clash two years ago at the US Open.

Defending champion Andreas Seppi reached his fifth ATP World Tour semi-final of the year when Edouard Roger-Vasselin retired due to a neck strain at 2-5 in the first set after 27 minutes. Seppi has now registered 30 match wins for the third time in his career (38 in 2012 and 30 in 2008).

Mikhail Kukushkin beat fellow qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-4, 7-6(4) to advance to the Moscow semi-finals for the second time. Kukushkin also reached the last four, as a qualifier, in 2009. Seppi has a 1-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead against Kukushkin. The pair met in the 2012 Roland Garros second round, with Seppi winning in five sets. 

British Bros. Reach First Final
British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski reached their first ATP World Tour final together as they edged Russian wild cards Victor Baluda and Konstantin Kravchuk 6-3, 5-7, 10-7. The duo has won two Futures titles and four ATP Challenger Tour trophies this season. In the final, they will face Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin, who battled past Rameez Junaid and Philip Marx 5-7, 6-3, 10-5.

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