Duckworth to play Kwon for Astana Open title

There will be a first-time title winner at the Astana Open after James Duckworth and Kwon Soon-woo who had never reached a tour final won their semifinal matches on Saturday.

(File Photo) James Duckworth in action.   -  AP

There will be a first-time title winner at the Astana Open after two players who had never reached a tour final won their semifinal matches on Saturday.

James Duckworth of Australia will play South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo for the title on Sunday in the capital of Kazakhstan.

Top-seeded Karatsev loses opening match at Astana Open  

Duckworth won 6-3, 7-6(4) against eighth-seeded Ilya Ivashka after breaking back from 3-1 down in the second set. It was the third consecutive straight-sets win over a seeded player for the 65th-ranked Duckworth and his ninth straight win overall after winning a Challenger tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, last week.

“I knew it was going to be really difficult but, I managed to win that second set in a tie-break," Duckworth said. "It was a very close set that could have gone either way. I think I played the big points well.”

Kwon reached his first final with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.

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