World No. 1 Roger Federer is in Saturday’s semi-finals of the Halle ATP tournament after racking up his 57th straight win on grass against 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.
The Swiss needed just 72 minutes to see off fifth-seed Baghdatis 6-4, 6-4 in Friday’s quarter-final and will play Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer for a place in the final and is yet to drop a set in the competition.
After an average performance in the previous round against Jan Vacek, Federer dominated Baghdatis from the start and put his 22-year-old opponent under constant pressure with his baseline strokes.
He immediately gained break points, converting the third one to go up 1-0 and never looked back to take a one-set lead.
Baghdatis never came close to winning back the break, with Federer just giving up four points in his first five service games.
Rafael Nadal overcame Ivo Karlovic’s powerful serve to reach the Queen’s Club semi-finals with a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) win on Friday.
Nadal could not break the towering Karlovic a single time during the match, and didn’t even bother reaching for many of the 35 aces hit by the 2.08m Croat.
Nadal had just two break points — while not conceding any — which were saved by Karlovic at 3-3 in the first set and 2-2 in the third.
AFP, BIRMINGHAM, England
New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic reached her third semi-final this year on Friday when she defeated fifth seeded Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-4, 7-5 at the WTA grasscourt event here.
Twelfth seed Kateryna Bondarenko came back from 4-2 down to win a tight first set then cruised against Czech girl Petra Cetkovska, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, to reach her first semifinal.
AP, BARCELONA, Spain
Second-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia defeated last year’s runner-up Edina Gallovits 7-6 (3), 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Torneo Barcelona on Friday.
Kirilenko needed 85 minutes to prevail in the first set, including a 20-minute 11th game.
Romania’s Gallovits then crumbled, allowing Kirilenko to set up a semifinal on Saturday against France’s Stephanie Cohen-Aloro.
Cohen-Aloro comfortably beat Russia’s Ekaterina Ivanova 6-2, 6-1.
Kirilenko is the only seed to reach the last four following the elimination of No. 4 Lucia Safarova and No. 6 Sara Erani in the quarterfinals.
The Czech Republic’s Safarova retired with a right hamstring injury against Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez after losing the first set 6-4.
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