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Paire, Hurkacz survive long day to reach Winston-Salem final

Top-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire rallied from a set down to beat American Steve Johnson 1-6 6-0 6-0 in the semi-final of the Winston-Salem Open on Friday.

It was a busy day for Paire, who earlier staved off Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to win their quarter-final match in the rain-delayed tournament.

The quarter-finals had been washed out on Thursday, forcing two rounds to be played on Friday.

In the final, Paire will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who topped 20-year-old qualifier Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-4.

Paire won 76% of his first-serve points and fought off six break points to advance.

“First set I was not feeling very well, and Stevie was playing good. It was not easy,” Paire told reporters. “But after I started feeling better, I served better.

“So it was important for me to stay with myself. I was moving really well. I’m really happy with my win today.”

Hurkacz, who will play in his first ATP Tour final, earned a crucial break at 4-4 in the second set and served out the match to advance.

“It feels great. It was a long day but it was a really nice day for me,” said Hurkacz, who earlier took down American Frances Tiafoe 4-6 7-6(1) 6-1.

“The goal for me with Craig (Boynton), my coach, and my team is to improve every day, to be a better player. I’m very happy that we are able to improve our game, and obviously playing in the final is a huge success for me.”


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