Shabaz Upsets Nishikori to Reach VNB Challenger Semifinals
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginia senior Michael Shabaz continued his historic run at the Virginia National Bank Tennis Championships by reaching the semifinals of the ATP Challenger Tour event. Shabaz topped world No. 126 Kei Nishikori of Japan 7-6, 6-1 on Friday night at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Shabaz’s win is one of the highest ranked wins by an active collegiate player in recent years. Nishikori was ranked as high as No. 56 in the world last year and reached the third round of the 2010 US Open, upsetting world No. 13 Marin Cilic in the second round.
“I am really proud of Michael as he continues to show signs of improvement with each match,” said head coach Brian Boland. “He is enjoying the moment and playing his game on his terms. I am really happy for him and I know he is excited for Saturday.”
Shabaz will meet Australian Chris Guccione in the semifinals. Guccione upset the second-seed, former Cavalier NCAA Singles Champion Somdev Devvarman, in his quarterfinal match on Friday.
Saturday’s schedule begins at 1 p.m. with the first singles semifinal between Robert Kendrick and Rik de Voest. The Shabaz-Guccione semifinal follows that match. The final match of the day is a doubles semifinal, featuring Virginia alumni Devvarman and Treat Huey.
Tickets for the tournament are $10 daily for Boar’s Head Sports Club members and $15 daily for non-members.