Sat, Feb 18, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Berdych, del Potro join Federer in Rotterdam quarters

AFP, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina celebrates a point during his match against Karol Beck at the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro joined resting top seed Roger Federer in the Rotterdam Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Second-seed Berdych advanced with only minimal effort, as opponent Marcos Baghdatis quit with a left-foot injury after 19 minutes on court while trailing 3-0 in their second-round match.

However, Del Potro, the No. 3 seed making his debut in Rotterdam, had a battle on his hands before he finally got past Slovak Karol Beck 6-4, 7-5.

On Wednesday, Federer moved easily into the last eight at the Ahoy Stadium when scheduled second-round opponent Mikhail Youzhny withdrew a day before their contest with a left-foot injury.

Federer still had to go out and win his opening match against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, which he did, 6-4, 6-4.

Del Potro had to overcome a slight bloody nose which required a medical timeout early in the contest with Beck. Once that was sorted, it was back to work for the 2009 US Open champion, who advanced with nine aces — his last one earning two match points.

Del Potro needed almost two hours to move into a match against Serb seventh-seed Victor Troicki, who put out Jesse Huta Galung, the last local player left in the tournament.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet, seeded fifth, continued his steady progress at his second tournament appearance, defeating Russian Alex Bogomolov 6-3, 6-2, while Italy’s Andreas Seppi dispatched German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2.

The 16th-ranked Gasquet improved his record to seven wins this season to next face Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

The Frenchman, with six career titles, went through to victory in just over 85 minutes, with four aces and four breaks of the Bogomolov serve.

BRAZIL OPEN

AP, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

Nicolas Almagro of Spain extended the defense of his Brazil Open title to the quarter-finals by defeating Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 on Thursday.

Almagro, the top seed, did not allow a single break point to Hanescu in his victory at the Ibirapuera sporting complex. He had 12 aces and only one double fault in the second-round match which lasted more than two hours.

The 11th-ranked Almagro needed a wild card to defend his title, because he initially was not certain if he would make the tournament because of his Davis Cup duties with Spain. He also won the Brazil Open in 2008.

Second-seeded Gilles Simon of France failed to advance after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to David Nalbandian of Argentina. Ranked 12th in the world, Simon could not convert on any of his five break opportunities.

Third-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain struggled against countryman Javier Marti, but escaped with a 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5 victory after saving triple match points against the 20-year-old Marti. Verdasco, a former No. 7 in the world who was playing his first match since the Australian Open, had six double faults, including four in the final set.

Also, fifth-seeded Carlos Berlocq of Argentina defeated Potito Starace of Italy 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, converting five of the 13 break points he got in the nearly two-hour match. Eighth-seeded Albert Ramos of Spain ousted big-server Igor Andreev of Russia 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4).

Italian Filippo Volandri defeated Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes, while Leonardo Mayer of Argentina advanced by beating Jeremy Chardy of France 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

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