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Kratochvil wins all-Swiss encounter

Kratochvil overpowered his compatriot in three sets

(Keystone)

Switzerland's number two tennis player Michel Kratochvil came out on top against the country's number five, George Bastl, at the Shanghai Open on Wednesday.

In the first ever meeting on the Tour between the two Swiss players, Bastl (ATP 124) seemed set to spring a surprise on Kratochvil (ATP 65) after taking the first set 6-4.

The Swiss number two rallied in the next two sets, however, to win through 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

"It was a good performance," Kratochvil said afterwards, "particularly at the end of the match. I felt in top form and I've known George for many years. I knew he couldn't keep up the level at which he was playing (in the first set)."

Kratochvil's showings in Shanghai this week have ended the dismal run of results that recently saw the Bernese player crash out in the opening round of five successive tournaments.

After seeing off Chinese wildcard Wang Yu and now Bastl, Kratochvil is now through to the quarter-finals of the $400,000 hardcourt tournament, at which he is seeded third.

His opponent will be in the last eight will be Holland's Edwin Kempes (ATP 148) who also needed three sets in the second round to see off Zimbabwe's Byron Black (ATP 143).

With five of the eight seeds already out of the tournament, including top seed Andre Agassi, Kratochvil appears to have a strong chance of at least reaching this weekend's final.

swissinfo with agencies


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