Defending champion Andy Roddick did his job Friday night by defeating sixth-seeded Dominik Hrbaty in their quarterfinal match. But 12th-seeded Nicolas Kiefer ousted 2003 runner-up Paradorn Srichaphan in the other quarter.
Roddick defeated Hrbaty of Slovakia 6-2, 6-3, and Germany's Kiefer saved five break points in a tiebreaker before defeating fourth-seeded Srichaphan of Thailand 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) in a match that lasted 2 hours, 33 minutes and included 131 points.
The first set lasted nearly 90 minutes, including a pair of 20-point games and another that took 22 points before it was completed. Srichaphan opened a 6-2 lead in the first tiebreaker before he double faulted to give Kiefer life and the German eventually tied the breaker at six with another double fault by his opponent.
"He's such a good returner that every time I serve I have to put it deep to make a difference," said Srichaphan, who converted only three of 18 break points.
Earlier, Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia overcame an on-court bee sting and upset third-seeded Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean. He'll meet Roddick in one semifinal Saturday. while Gregory Carraz of France will play Kiefer for the second spot in Sunday's title match.
Ljubicic took a medical timeout in the 12th game of the opening set after a bee stung him in the buttocks. He then returned to beat Grosjean 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
As usual, Roddick's booming serve was crucial to the outcome. He had 14 aces and won 96 percent of his 26 successful first serves.
Ljubicic's victory over Grosjean prevented French players from claiming two spots in the semifinals. Carraz, who didn't drop a set in the tournament until the quarterfinals, recovered to beat Noam Okun of Israel, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Carraz, who left the tour for nearly two months this year with an inflammation in his right knee, advanced to the semifinals at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.
Okun began the tournament winless this year in ATP events. He was seeking to become the first qualifier to reach the tournament's semifinals since it became a hardcourt event in 1988.
Okun was the first qualifier to advance to the quarterfinals since Tommy Ho in 1997.
Carraz had advanced past the first round of a tournament only once in seven attempts since March. He raised his record to 12-13.
Carraz, in a semifinal for the second time this year, is looking for his first ATP title. He had few problems with Okun's serve.
Okun, currently No. 164 in the ATP rankings, was broken five times and won only 59 percent of his first and second serve points.
"I didn't lose my composure," said Carraz, who was broken three times. "I'd played him before [here last year] so I knew I could win the match with my serve."
JPMorgan Chase Open
Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport advanced to the semifinals with easy victories, setting up a rematch of last week's final at Stanford.
Williams defeated 11th-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy 7-5, 6-1, and No. 3 Davenport beat seventh-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Top-seeded Serena Williams was to play No. 8 Vera Zvonareva of Russia in a night match at the Home Depot Center. The winner will play fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, who beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Williams is playing the Chase Open for the first time since 1997, even though it's located near her childhood home of Compton. She improved to 4-0 against Schiavone, who reached the semifinals last year before losing to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.
Davenport beat Williams 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (4) for the first time in four years to win last week's Bank of the West tournament at Stanford. Williams has a 12-11 career edge over Davenport, who has reached the Chase Open final seven of the last eight years and won three times.
"My whole goal is to make less errors. I had a ton of errors and that didn't help my cause at all," Williams said. "My serve was a little better last week, but I feel I can pick it up when I need to. I'm pretty focused on what I'm doing."
They played nearly three hours in 35? C heat before Davenport ended a six-match losing streak against Williams.
"I had a really good win last week and I'm doing well so far," Davenport said. "Right now I cannot be anything but really happy with where I'm at and what I've been able to do the last few weeks. Wimbledon was a huge step because I finally feel I started to play good tennis."
Davenport lost a three-set semifinal at Wimbledon to eventual champion Maria Sharapova, while Williams was upset in the second round.
Davenport closed out the 48-minute victory over Petrova with a second-serve ace, one of nine she had in the match. She connected on 60 percent of her first serves and hit 23 winners to Petrova's six.
Four of the top eight seeds in Carson were Russian, and all of them reached the quarterfinals.
Rainer Schuettler and Gaston Gaudio, the top two seeds, advanced to the semifinals with straight-set victories.
Top-seeded Schuettler defeated fellow German Florian Mayer 7-6 (6), 6-2, while French Open champion Gaudio beat Luis Horna of Peru 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1).
Mayer, a surprise Wimbledon quarterfinalist, kept pace with Schuettler in the first set but faded in the second.
"It was a close match, especially in the opening set. But I have played good tennis ever since I came to Kitzbuehel and I am confident for the upcoming challenges," Schuettler said.
In the semifinals, Schuettler will face last year's finalist, Nicolas Massu of Chile. No. 3 Massu defeated fifth-seeded Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) to earn his place among the final four.
In contrast to their latest encounter in Rome this year in which Zabaleta had dominated 6-1, 7-5, Massu equalled the head-to-head 3-3. Gaudio extended his impressive winning streak on clay against Horna. The Argentine is 30-10 on clay this year and has won 20 of his last 22 matches.
Seemingly unaffected by the extreme heat in this Alpine resort, where temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius, both South Americans held their serve in the first set with Gaudio showing more patience in the tiebreaker.
Top-seeded Carlos Moya overcame Spanish countryman Alberto Martin 6-1, 7-6 (2) to advance to the semifinals.
Moya, who is seeking his fourth straight title at this northern Adriatic resort, started strongly before running into problems with his serve in the second set and giving Martin an opportunity.
However, Moya dashed any chances of an upset with some superb play at the net and a series of forehand winners to overcome a 4-2 deficit and prevail in the tiebreak.
"I played very well in the first set and then relaxed a bit in the second," Moya said. "I'm also happy with the way I finished the match as Albert is a very dangerous player if you give him a chance."
Moya, who has won 17 ATP titles, including the French Open, improved his head-to-head with Spanish players this season to 12-0.
Fifth-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy upset No. 1 Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 to earn a spot in the semifinals.
In intense heat, Pennetta beat Koukalova surprisingly easily on the red clay courts of the Palermo Country Club. Earlier this month, Pennetta won the International Tennis Federation (ITF) women's circuit event in Cuneo, Italy.
In their only other meeting, Pennetta defeated Koukalova at the ITF Ortisei Tournament in 2002.
Second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain kept alive her hopes of a second career WTA Tour singles title, beating German Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4, 6-3. Medina Garrigues won her first title in Palermo in 2001.
Medina Garrigues returned to beat Groenefeld a second time Friday, paired with former top-ranked Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to beat the German and her compatriot Barbara Rittner 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in the doubles semifinals.
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