Aslan Karatsev survived a lung-busting 15-minute game and four set points deep in his opening-round clash with Holger Rune before advancing to the quarter-finals of the Open 13 Provence in Marseille Wednesday.
The Russian World No. 15 fended off the set points during a 10-deuce game at 5-6 in the second set to force a tie-break against the 18-year-old Dane, who paid the price for converting just one of 10 break opportunities during the match.
Karatsev improved to 7-3 on the season with his 6-3, 7-6(1) victory.
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“I started pretty well at the opening of the match but in the second set I got a bit tight at 5-4,” said Karatsev, referencing his inability to serve out the match in the 10th game of set two. “I was nervous but I’m really happy to finish the match in two sets.”
The fourth seed advanced to his second quarter-final of the season and will continue his pursuit of a second title of the season after claiming the Sydney crown in the second week of the season.