Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Top seeds Edmund, Shapovalov defeated at Eastbourne

AP, EASTBOURNE, England

Mischa Zverev serves to Denis Shapovalov in their Nature Valley International men’s singles quarter-final in Eastbourne, England, on Thursday.

Photo: AP / Press Association

Italy’s Marco Cecchinato was on Thursday the only seeded male player left at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, England, after Kyle Edmund and Denis Shapovalov were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Second seed Edmund lost 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

Edmund fought back from a break down to take the opening set, but was broken by the world No. 90 in the third game of the second set and again in the ninth, following a double fault.

Kukushkin clearly had the momentum and won the first three games of the decider.

Edmund’s frustration was clear and the British No. 1 had a prolonged argument with umpire Arnaud Gabas over a line call.

Kukushkin was next to face Mischa Zverev in the semi-finals after the German’s surprise 6-3, 6-3 victory over third-seeded Shapovalov of Canada.

Cecchinato, who is seeded fourth, was to take on Lukas Lacko in the other semi-final after beating John Millman of Australia 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Lacko, who on Wednesday knocked out top seed Diego Schwartzman in the second round, comfortably dispatched British No. 2 Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4.

There were also surprises in the women’s singles, as defending champion Karolina Pliskova was upset by Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

The second-seeded Czech player, who had reached the final the past two years, lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5) in 2 hours, 12 minutes.

It was Sabalenka’s first victory over a top 10-ranked player.

Sabalenka, who is ranked 45th in the world, fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the deciding set and clinched the match when Pliskova sent a forehand wide.

Sabalenka was to face 2008 champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals after the Pole eased past fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 7-5.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki survived a scare to beat Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-4, 6-3.

Eighth-seeded Barty broke twice in the second set, but Wozniacki broke straight back each time and the Danish player won four successive games to book her semi-final spot, sealing the result when Barty returned into the net.

Wozniacki was to play fourth seed Angelique Kerber, who prevailed over Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3).

Kerber seemed on her way to a comfortable win as the German powered through the first set in just 19 minutes, but seventh-seeded Kasatkina recovered from her terrible start and pushed Kerber all the way.

Both players appeared to struggle on their serve — with Kasatkina in particular racking up 10 double faults.

There were several breaks of serve before Kerber triumphed in a little more than two hours.

In the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Sabalenka advanced when second seeds Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain retired after going 3-0 down in the first set.

Hsieh and Sabalenka were to face fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China in the semi-finals.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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