Pouille avenges loss to Khachanov to reach Dubai quarters

Lucas Pouille of France returns the ball to Karen Khachanov of Russia during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Second-seeded Lucas Pouille of France defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships, just three days after losing to the Russian in the Marseille final.

Third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced after outlasting France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-1, while Tunisian wild-card entry Malek Jaziri continued his surprising run by beating Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3). Jaziri knocked out top-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday.

Two more seeded players lost on Wednesday, as Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy beat No. 4 Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-1 in just 50 minutes and rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Pouille saved two break points in the eighth game of the first set, then broke himself in the next game. Khachanov then broke for a 4-2 lead in the second set before leveling the match, but it was Pouille who earned the only break in the decider.

”I knew it would be a tough one. In the final in Marseille, he won just three points more than me. It was very close. I knew I had to play some good tennis,” Pouille said. ”We were both a little bit tired I think. So, I’m just very happy that I got my revenge today.”

Jaziri will face Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals, while Bautista Agut takes on 21-year-old Croatian Borna Coric.