Marseille Open: Paire ousts Wawrinka, joins Kyrgios, Cilic in semis

  • AFP, Marseille, France
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2016 14:20 IST
Swiss player Stan Wawrinka retruns the ball to France's Benoit Paire during their quarter-final match at the Marseille Open in Marseille, France, on February 19, 2016. (AFP Photo)

France’s Benoit Paire ousted top seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 on Friday to join Marin Cilic and Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals of the ATP Marseille Open.

Paire, seeded eighth, was the last home hope in Marseille after Australian Kyrgios earlier whipped Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-4. It was just the second win for the eighth-seeded Paire in eight meetings with his Swiss opponent and first since 2013.

The 22nd-ranked Frenchman will next play 12th-ranked Croat Cilic, who earlier got past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4.

Cilic, the number four seed, needed just 66 minutes to spoil 24-year-old Kuznetsov’s bid for a first ATP World Tour semi-final appearance at the seventh attempt.

Cilic, 27, is looking to reach the Marseille final for the second time, having finished runner-up in 2011. But Paire has won their only previous meeting in Chennai in 2013.

Frenchman Gasquet, ranked 10, who pulled out of Rotterdam last week with flu, had won two weeks ago in neighbouring Montpellier.

But he was no match for the 41st-ranked Kyrgios, whose powerful serve helped him to a straightforward victory in under an hour.

The 20-year-old fired 17 aces, dropping just six points on serve and breaking Gasquet four times.

It was just Kyrgios’s second win over Gasquet in six meetings, after the second round of Wimbledon in 2014.

He will bid to reach his second ATP World Tour final against Czech Tomas Berdych, who beat Belgium’s David Goffin 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday, having reached his maiden final last year in Estoril where he finished runner-up to Gasquet.

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