Basilashvili to meet Harrison in Memphis final

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Saturday in the Memphis Open semifinals to reach his second career final.

Nikoloz Basilashvili is looking to become the first player from Georgia to win an ATP event.   -  AP

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Saturday in the Memphis Open semifinals to reach his second career final.

Basilashvili, 24, will play Ryan Harrison on Sunday at The Racquet Club.

The man trying to be the first from Georgia to win an ATP World Tour title needed 1 hour, 46 minutes to reach his first final since 2016 Kitzbuehel, and he advanced by attacking Kukushkin’s serve and eventually wearing him down in a match where he had 14 break points. Basilashvili said he was surprised he did not lose focus during the missed opportunities.

“I had a lot and could not execute,” Basilashvili said. “I was just waiting my moment. On the set point, I just played really good.”

Kukushkin broke Basilashvili’s serve to go up 2-0 only to be broken himself. Basilashvili took the first set in the tiebreaker after Kukushkin held serve on nine break points. Basilashvili went up 6-4 in the tiebreaker with a backhand winner into the corner, then won set point when Kukushkin hit into the net.

Ranked 67th in the ATP rankings, Basilashvili then broke Kukushkin to go up 2-0 in the second set and again to take a 5-1 lead before holding serve for the match.

Saturday marked the first time in this tournament’s 41-year history without a seeded player in the semifinals and the first on the ATP tour since 2013 in Nice. Kukushkin came into the semifinals as the only player with a title to his credit, 2010 at St. Petersburg. But he could not overcome Basilashvili.

Harrison defeats Young to reach the final

Ryan Harrison beat fellow American Donald Young 6-4, 6-4 in 90 minutes Saturday night at the Memphis Open semifinals, finally advancing to his first career final in his eighth try.

“I lost four match points, but I didn’t play a bad point,” Harrison said.

This marked the first time in this tournament’s 41-year history without a seeded player in the semifinals and the first on tour since 2013 in Nice. Kukushkin came into the semifinals as the only player with a title to his credit, 2010 at St. Petersburg. But he could not overcome Basilashvili.

Young ousted No. 2 seed John Isner in three sets Friday night to reach his second semifinal here in three years, but Delray Beach in 2015 remains the last final he reached. Harrison hadn’t played a semifinal Acapulco in 2015.