Khachanov dispatches Cerundolo, sets Medvedev clash in SF


The Russian Karen Khachanov defeated the Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to progress to the Miami Open semifinals. The 26-year-old swiftly bounced back after losing a break in the opening set to guarantee that the rest of the match was one-way traffic. After 75 minutes, the big-hitting 14th seed secured his victory by slamming 18 aces and driving the ball through the nimble court to force Cerundolo into mistakes.
After making 22 unforced errors, the 24-year-old Cerundolo was unable to defeat Khachanov and advance to the final four once more.
Before making it to the semifinals in Toronto in 2019, Khachanov won his lone ATP Masters 1000 championship in Paris in 2018. When he takes on Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal match, he will continue his quest for his sixth tour-level championship and first since Paris five years ago.
“At the end of the day, it was a question of finding rhythm. At the beginning, it was pretty windy, and I couldn’t figure out where the wind was coming from. I then started to hit through the ball more, and then I felt better and better. After I broke him back, I felt like I was on a good rise and that I could not miss. That is a good feeling to have during a match,” Khachanov quoted.
“I think I have improved my mentality and self-belief a lot. I am enjoying the process. I think the results speak for themselves, and I am happy it is paying off,” he added.
“We grew up together, and every time I play against Daniil or Andrey [Rublev], it is not easy because we are good friends. But on the court, we are rivals.
We played in Adelaide this year, and he beat me pretty solid, so I will try to approach this match differently,” Khachanov said ahead of his match against Medvedev.
Khachanov is up five spots to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will jump back into the Top 10 if he wins the title. Earlier this season, he advanced to the semi-finals at the Australian Open.