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Karan Khachanov defeats Lukas Rosol in straight sets at the VTB Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

Khachanov Cool Under Pressure, Beats Rosol In Moscow

Gerasimov defeats Paire in straight sets

Karen Khachanov was forced to work hard for his opening win at the VTB Kremlin Cup on Wednesday, saving 12 of 13 break points en route to a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Lukas Rosol.

The third seed was regularly put under pressure by the Czech qualifier in front of his home crowd, but held his nerve in important moments to advance after 89 minutes. Khachanov, who reached the quarter-finals in Moscow on his debut in 2013, is searching for his second indoor hard-court title of the season after triumphing at the Open 13 Provence in February (d. Pouille).

The Russian wild card improves to 36-21 at tour level this season and will face Nick Kyrgios or Mirza Basic for a spot in the semi-finals. Khachanov has never met Kyrgios or Basic at a tour-level event.

Belarusian Egor Gerasimov reached his second tour-level quarter-final of the season, backing up his victory over defending champion Damir Dzumhur with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Benoit Paire. Gerasimov, who fired eight aces in the 72-minute clash, will meet Adrian Mannarino in the last eight.

The Frenchman was untouchable on serve against top seed Marco Cecchinato, hitting 11 aces and winning 94 per cent of his service points (32/34) to upset the top seed 6-2, 6-3.

Ricardas Berankis saved five match points to return to the quarter-finals, beating Aljaz Bedene 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5). Last year's runner-up needed two hours and 38 minutes to complete an unlikely comeback and will meet second seed Daniil Medvedev or Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-finals.

France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert also advanced, defeating qualifier Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 in 70 minutes. The Shenzhen Open finalist will face Italian Andreas Seppi in the second round. Bublik was bidding to reach the last eight in Moscow for the third straight year.

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