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By Tennis Now | Friday, February 23, 2018

Lucas Pouille

Lucas Pouille celebrated his 24th birthday in style stopping Filip Krajinovic, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4, to reach the Marseille semifinals.

Photo credit: Davis Cup

Lucas Pouille turned in a banging birthday celebration in Marseille.

Pouille pumped 20 aces celebrating his 24th birthday with a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4, triumph over Filip Krajinovic and a berth in the Marseille semifinals.

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It is Pouille's second semifinal in four tournaments this season.

The 16th-ranked Frenchman defeated compatriots Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet in succession to claim his fifth career title in Montpellier earlier this month.

Pouille received a sweet treat afterward.

No. 9-seeded Karen Khachanov converted three of 11 break points in a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Julien Benneteau.

Khachanov cranked 16 aces and lost just seven points on his first serve in an 83-minute victory.

"It was quite a solid match," Khachanov said. "I didn’t make many first serves in the first couple of games, getting broken in my first service game, but then I got stronger."

Khachanov advanced to his first semifinal since Halle last June. He is bidding to become the first Russian finalist in Marseille since Yevgeny Kafelnikov took the title 17 years ago.

The powerful Russian will play Tomas Berdych for a place in the final.

The fourth-seeded Czech led 7-6 (4) when his quarterfinal opponent, Damir Dzumhur, retired. 


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