Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis and John-Patrick Smith are into the Las Vegas $50,000 ATP Challenger tournament semifinals after straight sets wins.
Thanasi Kokkinakis followed up from his impressive win against no. 1 seed Lloyd Harris from South Africa with a win over Barbados’ Darian King 6-1, 6-4. He will play Casper Ruud from Norway in the semifinal. Kokkinakis won the $100,000 ATP Challenger title at Aptos in August. The Australian defeated Harris in that final.
The highlight of the year so far for Kokkinakis was his defeat of Roger Federer at the Miami Masters event. The 22-year-old Australian has struggled to get his ranking back in the top-100. He started the year at no. 209 and worked his ranking down to no. 148 before it blew out to no. 268 after failing to defend his ATP 250 points earned when reaching the Los Cabos final in 2017. After reaching the semifinals his ranking will jump to no. 171, a title win would see him improve to around no. 155.
John-Patrick Smith defeated Taipei’s Jason Jung  7-6(3), 6-3. Smith will play Blaz Rola from Slovakia in his semifinal. It is the first time Smith has reached an ATP Challenger semifinal since he went all the way to the final at the Leon, Mexico $75,000 tournament back in April. Smith is aiming for his first ATP Challenger title since he won the $50,000 title at the Drummondville tournament in March 2015.