Canadian Denis Shapovalov advances to quarterfinals in Dubai

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Canada's Denis Shapovalov is heading to the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships after beating Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday.

The third-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., won for the first time in three career matches against the 13th-seeded Hurkacz.

Shapovalov won 90 per cent of points (28-of-31) when he got his first serve in and saved the only break point he faced in the third-round match of the ATP Tour 500 event.

"For sure playing some really good tennis," Shapovalov said. "Obviously, I've struggled against Hubert in the past. He's such a great player, he's got great weapons and he's really tough to play against. I'm really happy to get my first win against him."

The Canadian, who was playing his 200th tour-level match, will face world No. 53 Jeremy Chardy in the quarterfinals after the Frenchman upset No. 8 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4.

Shapovalov has a 2-0 career record against Chardy.

Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev eased into the quarterfinals and qualifier Lloyd Harris continued his run of upsets.

The second-seeded Rublev needed barely an hour to win 6-3, 6-1 against Taylor Fritz. He next faces a rematch against Marton Fucsovics, the player he beat in the Rotterdam final earlier this month.

Fucsovics won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 against 11th-seeded Dusan Lajovic. The Hungarian has gone to three sets in all three matches in Dubai this week.

Harris won 7-6 (5), 6-4 against 14th-seeded Filip Krajinovic to follow his upset win over top-seeded Dominic Thiem on Wednesday. The South African qualifier was down 4-2 in the tiebreaker before winning five of the following six points, and broke Krajinovic at 3-3 in the second. Harris will face Kei Nishikori, who beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-4.

Aslan Karatsev continued his strong start to 2021 by beating Lorenzo Sonego 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Russian was a surprise Australian Open semifinalist as a qualifier last month and will now face another Italian, Jannik Sinner. Sinner upset fourth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

— With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press