NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AP) — There will be a first-time title winner at the Astana Open after two players who had never reached a tour final won their semifinal matches on Saturday.
James Duckworth of Australia will play South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo for the title on Sunday in the capital of Kazakhstan.
Duckworth won 6-3, 7-6(4) against eighth-seeded Ilya Ivashka after breaking back from 3-1 down in the second set. It was the third consecutive straight-sets win over a seeded player for the 65th-ranked Duckworth and his ninth straight win overall after winning a Challenger tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, last week.
“I knew it was going to be really difficult but I managed to win that second set in a tie-break,” Duckworth said. “It was a very close set that could have gone either way. I think I played the big points well.”
Kwon reached his first final with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
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