The 6th seed Hubert Hurkacz is through to the semi-final at the ASB Classic, defeating Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes. The young Pole faced only one break point in the entire match, controlling the pace all the time but still needing three sets after a remarkable comeback from the veteran in set number two.
Hubert grabbed a break in the sixth game of the opener before getting broken in the very next game, scoring another break at 5-4 to clinch the opener. Feliciano fended off three break chances in the sixth game of the second set, reaching the tie break where he saved no less than six match points in a roller coaster ride, prevailing 13-11 o the third set point to keep his chances alive and prolong the encounter.
Hubert bounced back at the beginning of the decider, breaking Lopez and serving well until the end of the set to take it 6-4 and book the place in the semis. The 5th Benoit Paire ousted John Millman 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes, firing 13 aces and fending off five out of six break chances to control the pace in sets two and three and stay on the title course.
The home star made a perfect star, serving well in the first set and securing an early break that guided him towards 6-3. Facing two break points in the third game of the second set, Benoit got out of jail to gather massive momentum, rattling off five straight games including breaks in games four and six for a 6-1, becoming the favorite ahead of the decider.
The decisive moment came in the fifth game of the final set when the Frenchman earned a break, sealing the deal in the tenth game to advance into the semis. The 4th seed and a former champion John Isner prevailed against Kyle Edmund 7-6, 7-6 in just under two hours, repelling three set points on serve in the 12th game of the second set to wrap up the win in straight sets and gain at least some boost after a slow start of the year.
Kyle claimed seven points more than the American, fending off all four break chances and earning nine opportunities on the return, only to squander them all and finish his run in the last eight despite a solid effort. John had to repel four break chances in the first and the seventh games (all with winners), wasting a set point in the 12th game before taking the tie break 7-5 with two mini-breaks.
Returners blew their chances in games four and five in set number two and it was Isner who had to dig deep in the 12th game, firing three winners to survive and stealing the tie break 7-5 to move into the semis. The 2nd seed Denis Shapovalov fell to Ugo Humbert 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 28 minutes, with the Frenchman advancing into the first ATP semi-final since Antwerp in October.
Ugo played better on the second serve and in the pivotal moments, fending off all four break chances and stealing Denis's serve once in each set to move on. Humbert survived a scare in the fifth game of the opener, taking Shapovalov's serve at 6-5 after a double fault from the Canadian to seal the opener.
Just like in the first set, the Frenchman saved a break chance in the fifth game of the second set, earning a break at 5-4 when Denis hit another double fault to move over the top and complete the semi-final line-up.