Denis Shapovlov continued his Asian renaissance on Friday as the Canadian put a form slump in the rear-view mirror with a semi-final place at the Japan Open.
Shapo,who played the final last weekend in Seoul, delivered a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Borna Coric at the Ariake Colosseum with nine aces and three breaks of the Croat’s serve.
The winner next takes on taylor Fritz, who advanced without firing a shot as quarter-final opponent Nick Kyrgios made a precautionary pullout due to resurgence on a left knee injury.
The Australian Wimbledon finalist was apologetic about his decision.
“It’s obviously very disappointing,” 2016 Tokyo champion Kyrgios said.
“It’s one of my favourite tournaments. I’ve had great memories here… It’s heartbreaking, but I’ll be here next year. That’s for sure.”
The fifth seed added: “I’ve been playing amazing tennis all year and actually was dealing with a bit of a knee issue around the US Open time.
“I got back home and probably didn’t take enough time off, to be honest. I went straight back into training.
“”I definitely felt like I was a threat to win the tournament and go all the way in singles and doubles.”
Kyrgios is scheduled to compete in two more events this season, at Basel and Paris Bercy.
Shapovalov was broken once only against Coric, winner of the Cincinnati Masters in August.
“I think I played great today,” he said. “My level the last two weeks has been great, so I’m very happy to be back in the semis.”
Shapo improved to 7-2 here at the tournament where he played the semis four years ago; he takes a 4-1 record into the match with Fritz.