Lucas Pouille beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday to book his spot in the quarterfinals of the event he has never won.
It was a case of sweet vengeance for Pouille after just a few days ago the Frenchman was denied a second title on home soil in three weeks by Khachanov in the Open 13 Provence final in Marseille.
This time round though, Pouille showed he had learnt valuable lessons from that meeting in his homeland and was able to grind out a victory through a combination of consistent serving, patience from the back of the court and composure during the big moments.
“I knew it would be a tough one,” admitted Pouille.
“In the final in Marseille, he won just three points more than me.
“I knew it was very close. I had to play some good tennis. I’m just very happy that I got my revenge today.”
After the early exit of Grigor Dimitrov, Pouille is now the highest seed left in the tournament and will fancy his chances of winning the event.
The 24-year-old has reached eight ATP finals and lifted five trophies in his short career however the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship is not one of them.
That seems odds on to change this week.
Pouille plays Yūichi Sugita next.