Anderson Races Past Kukushkin, Sets Tsitsipas Showdown
Kevin Anderson raced to victory at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, beating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes.
The Wimbledon finalist, who is bidding to make his Nitto ATP Finals debut this year, fired 14 aces to return to the third round for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in 2015 (l. to Tsonga). Anderson improves to 39-15 this season and has now won four straight FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against the Kazakh after losing their first meeting at the same stage of this event in 2014.
Kukushkin had reached the second round, from qualifying, without dropping a set, but fell to 17-19 at tour-level this season. Anderson will attempt to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas, for the first time in three FedEx ATP Head2Head clashes, to reach the last eight. The #NextGenATP Greek saved three set points in the second-set tie-break en route to a 6-4, 7-6(8) win over Karen Khachanov.
Tsitsipas, who beat the Russian in Shanghai to record his first tour-level victory last year, notched his 35th tour-level win of the season after one hour and 44 minutes, winning 82 per cent of first-serve points. The 20-year-old, who has reached two ATP World Tour finals this season, has already confirmed his spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 6-10 November.
Marco Cecchinato also progressed to the third round, recovering from 1/4 down in a final-set tie-break to beat Hyeon Chung 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in two hours and 35 minutes. Cecchinato, who was two points from defeat at 5/5 in the second-set tie-break, will meet second seed Novak Djokovic in a repeat of this year's epic Roland Garros quarter-final.
Kyle Edmund recorded a personal best 31st tour-level victory of the season, beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round in Shanghai for the first time. Edmund landed eight aces and saved three of four break points to overcome the 34-year-old, for the third time in four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, after 77 minutes.
Did You Know?
Tsitsipas entered the 2017 Rolex Shanghai Masters with an 0-8 career tour-level record. This season, the #NextGenATP Greek has already recorded 35 victories and recently qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.