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By Adrianna Outlaw | Friday, September 24, 2021

 
Ilya Ivashka

Ilya Ivashka rallied past Emil Ruusuvuori 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to his third semifinal of the season at the Astana Open.

Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation/Astana Open Facebook

Beneath the ceiling of Nur-Sultan, Ilya Ivashka hit new heights.

Ivashka rallied past Emil Ruusuvuori 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to his third semifinal of the season at the Astana Open.

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The eighth-seeded Belarusian raised his 2021 record to 28-13 with a victory that vaults him to a career-high ranking of No. 45 in the live rankings—the first time Ivashka has cracked the Top 50.




Winston-Salem champion Ivashka converted six of 16 break points and exploited nine double faults from the Helsinki, Finland-born baseliner in a physical tw hour, 50-minute victory. It was Ivashka's third win over Ruusuvuori following victories on the red clay of Munich and the blue hard courts of Winston-Salem.

“It was a really really hard match,” Ivashka said afterward. “It was brutal, almost three hours. The whole match was a mental fight and I am really happy I have come through it. In the third set, the score was 6-1, but it was really hard.”

Ivashka has won 11 of his last 12 matches and will play James Duckworth for a spot in his second final in his last three events.

In an all-Aussie quarterfinal, Duckworth dethroned defending champion and good buddy John Millman 6-4, 6-4 in the first Tour-level main-draw meeting between the sometime practice partners.  Duckworth drilled nine aces and saved seven of eight break points charging into his first semifinal of the season.




In today's third quarterfinal, Soonwoo Kwon stopped seventh-seeded Laslo Djere 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-0 to reach his second career semifinal.

The 82nd-ranked Korean beat Ivashka to win his first Tour-level quarterfinal in June reaching his maiden semifinal on the grass of Eastbourne as a lucky loser.

Now, Kwon will play for his first Tour-level final against either second-seeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik or Spaniard Carlos Taberner.

 

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