Sun, Jul 16, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Murray wins twice to make semi-final

BUSY DAY Two days of rain delays meant that the young Scot had to first finish off Sam Querrey before trouncing the US' Robert Kendrick 6-0, 6-0

AP , NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Andy Murray of Great Britain bends to return to opponent Sam Querrey of the US during action at the Hall of Fame tennis championships in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday. Murray won the match, 7-5, 6-2.

PHOTO: AP

Top-seeded Andy Murray won a pair of matches to advance to the semi-finals at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Friday.

The 19-year-old Briton, who advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon before losing to Marcos Baghdatis, completed a rain-delayed second-round match by beating Sam Querrey, 7-5, 6-2.

Just over an hour later, he took the court again, relying on steady groundstrokes, a strong sliced backhand and consistent serves in dominating Robert Kendrick 6-0, 6-0, to reach the semi-finals. The match lasted 59 minutes.

"I did everything pretty well," Murray said. "I got a percentage of my first serves well, returned well and passed well."

Kendrick said a sore right shoulder might have hindered his play, but he wasn't about to retire from the match.

"I'd rather take a beating like a man than retire," he said.

Murray will face eighth-seeded Justin Gimelstob, who beat Kristian Pless 6-3, 6-1 in 53 minutes.

Mark Philippoussis, who finished out of the top 100 the last two years because of injuries, beat Mardy Fish 7-6 (7), 6-3 to advance to the other semi-final. He will face sixth-seeded Jurgen Melzer, who defeated Alex Bogdanovic 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Pless appeared agitated with the condition of the courts, which were soaked by thunderstorms the last two days. Gimelstob, going for his first career title, is making his 10th appearance at Newport, the only grass-court ATP event in North America.

"It was obvious he wasn't fond of the conditions," Gimelstob said. "A big part of tennis is adversity management. On paper it looks like there are only two matches [for his first title], but there are so many obstacles."

After rain postponed some matches the previous two days, the players were greeted by blue skies and high temperatures.

No top seed has ever won in the tournament's 30-year history as a tour event.

Earlier in the day, Fish won his second-round match, 6-2, 6-3 over Thiago Alves.

The Hall of Fame championships are held in conjunction with induction ceremonies. This year's class of Patrick Rafter, Gabriela Sabatini and Gianni Clerici was scheduled to be enshrined yesterday before the matches.

Reuters, GSTAAD, Switzerland

Defending champion Gaston Gaudio and top seed Ivan Ljubicic both suffered quarter-final defeats at the Swiss Open on Friday.

Second seed Gaudio was beaten 3-6 2-6 by 20-year-old Richard Gasquet of France, while Ljubicic succumbed 7-6 6-3 to Spanish sixth seed Feliciano Lopez.

Croatian Ljubicic was playing his second match of the day, having earlier come from behind to defeat Swiss wildcard Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 6-3 6-2 in the second round.

Lopez also had to play twice and completed a 6-7 6-3 7-6 second-round win over fellow Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in a match that was interrupted by rain on Thursday night.

"I already came from a set down in the morning, but again I wasn't able to win the tie-break in the second match," said the hard-hitting Ljubicic. "After Gaudio and some of the other big guys went out I really thought this could be my tournament, but Feliciano was just too strong for me today."

The win gave Lopez revenge for his four-hour defeat to Ljubicic at Wimbledon last month -- an encounter which ended when the Croatian world No. 4 clinched the fifth set 11-9.

On Saturday, Lopez will face further Croatian opposition in the form of qualifier Marin Cilic.

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