Top seed Rublev reaches semifinals at rainy Washington

WASHINGTON: Top seed Andrey Rublev won twice to reach the semi-finals of the ATP and WTA Washington Open, dispatching Americans Maxime Cressy and J.J. Wolf in the US Open tuneup.

World number eight Andrey Rublev defeated 32nd-ranked Cressy 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) in one hour and 42 minutes then eliminated 99th-ranked wildcard Wolf 6-2, 6-3 in 78 minutes.

Rain Thursday night forced double duty upon Rublev and several others Friday but more storms provided everyone a major rest break between matches.

Rublev rolled through the first set against Wolf in 28 minutes. Wolf, who ousted Danish ninth seed Holger Rune earlier, denied three break points to open the second set but double-faulted to surrender a break in the third game and Rublev cruised from there.

Next in Rublev’s path will be Japan’s 96th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka, who outlasted British 16th seed Daniel Evans 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5 after three hours and 35 minutes.

Nishioka, who spent more time on the court in one match than Rublev did in two, improved to 5-0 all-time against the 40th-ranked Englishman in the rain-interrupted affair.

Rublev seeks his fourth title of the season after Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade to match Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz for the most ATP trophies this year.

Two later quarter-finals would determine the other semi-final pairing, with Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios playing hometown hero Frances Tiafoe and Sweden’s Mikael Ymer facing American Sebastian Korda.

Kyrgios, Tiafoe and Korda finished off triumphs early Friday in matches that were halted by Thursday storms.

Australia’s 63rd-ranked Kyrgios, who won the most recent of his six ATP titles at Washington in 2019, beat US fourth seed Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 while 10th seed Tiafoe ousted Dutch eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

World number 54 Korda, 22-year-old son of 1998 Australian Open winner Petr Korda, dispatched Bulgarian fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to earn a date against 115th-ranked Ymer.

Kanepi to face Saville

Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi defeated Anna Kalinskaya 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 in the only quarter-final completed before the rain delay.

“I don’t know how I actually managed to win,” Kanepi said. “It was a very tough match. It was so hot.”

Kanepi, her age and world rank at 37, seeks her fifth career WTA title but first since the 2013 Brussels Open. Her only hardcourt title came at Brisbane in 2012.

She next faces 88th-ranked Australian Daria Saville, who beat Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino 6-1, 7-5 in a storm-halted match to reach her first semi-final since 2018 at Acapulco.

World number 20 Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, won her postponed match over Czech Tereza Martincova 7-6 (9/7), 6-2, to reach her first WTA quarter-final since January in Adelaide.

But her double-win bid was spoiled by 21-year-old Chinese lucky loser Wang Xiyu, a 95th-ranked left-hander who reached her first WTA semi-final in June at Valencia.

Wang, seeking her first WTA title, rolled over 33-year-old Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 in 80 minutes, the same length as Azarenka’s earlier match first set.

Next up for Wang will be the winner of the quarter-final between 10th-ranked reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu, the 19-year-old British second seed seeking her first semi-final since her epic title run, and 60th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova.


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