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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, September 25, 2023


Karen Khachanov streaked through seven straight games stopping Sebastian Korda 7-5, 6-4 to storm into his seventh final at the Zhuhai Championships.

Photo credit: Getty

Eager to reach his first final of the year, Karen Khachanov was in no mood to play the waiting game.

The top-seeded Khachanov slashed through one streak to snap another.

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Reeling off seven straight games, Khachanov stopped Sebastian Korda 7-5, 6-4 to storm into his seventh career final at the Zhuhai Championships today.

Khachanov snapped a five-match losing streak in semifinals reaching his first ATP final since he was runner-up to Gael Monfils at Adelaide 1 in January of 2022.

The 15th-ranked Russian converted four of nine break points in a one-hour, 50-minute victory.

The hard-hitting Khachanov improves to 26-12 on the season. Khachanov will face
Yoshihito Nishioka in tomorrow’s final.

The left-handed Nishioka rallied from a break down in both sets tearing through the final fives games to defeat Aslan Karatsev 6-4, 6-4.

The 27-year-old Nishioka reached his fifth ATP final. Former Shenzhen champion Nishioka will play for this third ATP title and first since winning the 2022 Seoul crown when he defeated Denis Shapovalov.

Since Khachanov’s run to the Roland Garros quarterfinals last June, a back injury limited Khachanov to just one match—a straight-sets loss to Michael Mmoh at the US Open—prior to his arrival in Zhuhai.

Striking cleanly and thumping the ball with confidence, Khachanov too command with that seven-game surge.

The Korda-Khachanov semifinal was a rematch of the 2023 Australian Open quarterfinals that Khachanov won when Korda retired trailing 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-0.

Playing for his first final since Adelaide last January, Korda took a 5-4 first-set lead today.

Then Korda lost the range on his forehand and Khachanov fired with depth and pace. Khachanov stormed through seven straight games transforming that 4-5 first-set deficit into a one-set, 4-0 lead.

The Korda forehand grew so unruly at one point, he shanked a forehand that sailed near the chair umpire’s seat. Korda looked down and out, but finally stopped his spiral holding in the fifth game of the second set.

When Khachanov shoveled a forehand approach long, Korda gained his first break for the first set for 2-4.

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The former junior world No. 1 slammed an ace and serve winner—two of his heaviest serves of the set—holding firm for 3-4 and shifting pressure back on Khachanov’s shoulders for the first time in the second set.

The Australian Open semifinalist regrouped and ripped his fourth ace down the middle holding for 5-3.

Serving for the final, an assertive Khachanov slammed down a smash for triple match point.

When Korda caught the net with a backhand down the line, Khachanov was through to his first final in nearly 19 months. Khachanov carries a 4-2 career finals record into tomorrow's title match.


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