Sun, Feb 05, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Berdych, Simon, Monfils reach the Open Sud semis

AP, MONTPELLIER, FRANCE

Tomas Berdych finished off Nicolas Mahut of France with his 14th ace in a 6-3, 6-4 victory on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Open Sud de France.

The top seeded Czech outplayed Mahut in the first set, hitting 18 winners and making only two unforced errors.

Mahut fought back in the second, but double faulted to give the 2010 Wimbledon finalist a 4-3 lead.

Berdych will next face Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, who edged fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Kohlschreiber hit 18 aces, taking a 3-0 lead in the final set to play his second semi-final this season after reaching the last four of the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand, last month.

Meanwhile, second seeded Gilles Simon outlasted French wild card Guillaume Rufin 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, and will meet compatriot and defending champion Gael Monfils, who cruised past Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 6-3.

Simon won the all-French match when a backhand from Rufin sailed long.

Rufin was let down by his serve in the final set, double faulting five times and landing only 38 percent of his first attempts.

Third seeded Monfils broke serve twice to win the first set when Nieminen sent a backhand volley into the net.

Monfils did not face any break points and clinched victory when Nieminen netted a backhand return.

ZAGREB INDOORS

AP, ZAGREB, CROATIA

Lukas Lacko of Slovakia beat seventh seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Zagreb Indoors on Friday.

Lacko, who earlier ousted second-seeded Alex Bogomolov Jr of Russia, will now face Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who advanced after defeating defending champion Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 7-5.

Sixth seeded Baghdatis ousted fourth seeded Dodig with little trouble, leaving host country Croatia without representatives in the semi-finals or finals for the first time since 2006.

Germany’s Michael Berrer also advanced after defeating Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Berrer — a finalist in 2010 and last year — rallied after failing to convert five break points in the first set.

Berrer will play against third seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who defeated another, eighth seeded Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (12/10), 3-6, 7-6 (8/6).

VINA DEL MAR VTR OPEN

AP, VINA DEL MAR, CHILE

Top seeded Juan Monaco and No. 2 Juan Ignacio Chela both overcame one-set deficits to win their quarter-finals at the Vina Del Mar VTR Open on Friday, giving Argentine players three of the four semi-final berths.

Monaco of Argentina defeated fifth seeded Albert Montanes of Spain 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, while compatriot Chela downed Joao Souza of Brazil 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1.

Monaco’s victory sets up a semi-final against Jeremy Chardy of France, who beat Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) in the clay-court event.

Chela’s semi-final opponent will be countryman Carlos Berlocq, who defeated another Argentine, Federico Delbonis, 6-3, 6-4.

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