Tennis-Rublev advances to first grasscourt semi-final of career at Halle

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HALLE (Reuters) -Fourth seed Andrey Rublev moved into the semi-finals of a grasscourt tournament for the first time in his career after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(4) 6-2 at the ATP Tour 500 event in Halle on Friday.

Rublev, 23, is the only seed left in the tournament after the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer made early exits.

Russian Rublev fired nine aces, 29 winners, won 82% of his first serve points and did not concede a single break point against the 2011 champion.

"I am happy with my performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time," Rublev said. "The first set was really tough. He was 3-0 up in the tiebreak and I came back, which was the key.

"After the first set, I think he mentally went down and I was pumped up. I hit a couple of good returns in the first game of the second set."

Rublev will face Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili who beat South African Lloyd Harris 6-4 7-6(5).

Meanwhile, Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime needed only 59 minutes to beat American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2 to advance to the semi-finals, where he will meet Ugo Humbert who knocked out Zverev in the second round.

Having reached the grasscourt final in Stuttgart, the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime was in fine form yet again with 25 winners and only seven unforced errors.

"I've been playing well these past two weeks, believing in myself a lot and dominating my service games," Auger-Aliassime said.

"I don't think Marcos played his best match, I've seen him play great matches before and beat top 10 opponents... I think I was able to put a lot of pressure on him and dictate the points."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Louise Heavens, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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