Dan Evans kept British hopes alive on Friday as he knocked out disgruntled Russian third seed Karen Khachanov 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 for a semi-final place at the European Open in Antwerp.
Evans, the No. 35, followed in the 2019 footsteps of Andy Murray, who beat Stan Wawrinka for the indoor title here a year ago.
With Murray out of action with more hip injury complications, Evans is carrying on.
Evans is hoping to become the third in a row from his country to lift the title here, after Murray and Kyle Edmund in 2018.
Defeat by his 30-year-old opponent left Khachanov kicking at the net in disgust as he walked off with the loss after nearly two and three-quarter hours of battle.
Evans also won the pair’s second-round match pre-pandemic at Rotterdam in February.
Evans improved his record against Top 20 opposition to 7-6 this season; he has also defeated Andrey Rublev (twice), David Goffin, Fabio Fognini and Alex de Minaur.
“It is nice to play these guys and it is why you play the sport, to play the better players” the winner said.
“I’m pretty clear on how I have to play to beat them and that is what I do. I try and execute that plan; I’ve done that pretty good against the better guys.”
The Brit now takes on Ugo Humbert on Saturday after the Frenchman booked his place 6-3, 7-6(2) over South African Lloyd Harris in 95 minutes.
Aussie Alex de Minaur moved into the final four in Germany, defeating Marcos Giron of the US 6-3, 6-0 in less than an hour. He now takes on Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced on a walkover when Milos Raonic was unable to play due to an abdominal injury.