Top seeds Paire, Shapovalov reach Winston-Salem semis

France’s Benoit Paire ranked 30th in the world will face American Steve Johnson in the ATP Winston-Salem Open semi-finals. (Reuters pic)

LOS ANGELES: Top seeds Benoit Paire and Denis Shapovalov reached the semi-finals of the weather-hit ATP Winston-Salem Open on Friday, seeking a confidence-boosting title as they build towards the US Open.

France’s Paire, ranked 30th in the world, survived an erratic second set to beat Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-3.

He booked a semi-final meeting with American Steve Johnson, who downed Australian John Millman 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

Paire is seeking his third title of 2019 after victories in Marrakesh and Lyon while second-seeded Canadian Shapovalov is in just his second semi-final of the season.

The rising Canadian star hadn’t won back-to-back matches since reaching the last four in Miami in March.

But he appears to have turned things around with the US Open starting on Monday in Flushing Meadows, with the help of new coach Mikhail Youzhny.

Shapovalov defeated Russian Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to set up a semi-final against third-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who defeated American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-1.

The last four standing faced a quick turnaround, with semi-final matches scheduled for Friday night after storms prevented completion of any matches on Thursday.