Two-time champion Sam Querrey won his 12th straight match in the Farmers Classic on Saturday night, beating fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 7-6 (4).
The second-seeded Querrey, the 2009 and 2010 winner who missed the event last year because of a right shoulder injury, will face Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.
Berankis beat sixth-seeded Marinko Matosevic of Australia 7-5, 6-1 in the day semi-final at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
“He’s been playing great all week,” Querrey said about Berankis. “He came through qualifying, so he’s already won seven matches and that’s tough to do anywhere. He’s going to be ready to go and playing well, I’m sure. He hits the ball pretty big for a guy that’s only 5-8 [five-feet, eight-inches, 1.72m]. He’s not lacking for pop on his serve or his groundstrokes.”
The 1.98 Querrey rallied after dropping the first three games in the second set. He raced to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker on a forehand pass, an ace and Ram’s forehand error.
Before qualifying for the event on UCLA’s campus, Berankis had played only two tour matches in the past year because of pelvic injuries.
Berankis, ranked 141st going into the event, will move inside the top 100 after his four straight-set wins over seventh-seeded Bjorn Phau, Igor Andreev, No. 4 Nicolas Mahut and No. 6 Matosevic and could go up to about No. 75 by winning the championship. His career high is No. 73 on Jan. 31 last year before his injuries.
Berankis took control of a tight opening set by breaking his Australian opponent at love for a 6-5 lead, then opened the second set with a service break and a hold that seemed to demoralize Matosevic.
AFP, KITZBUEHEL, Austria
Dutch third seed Robin Haase beat German top seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-2 to retain his crown Saturday at the ATP tour event in Kitzbuehel.
Haase, 25 and ranked 42 in the world, secured the first title of his career at the venue 12 months ago and this was his first success since as he picked up the winner’s check for 64,700 euros (US$80,000).
Kohlschreiber gave as good as he got in the opening set and edged the tiebreak, but Haase went on to dominate from the back of the court.
The Dutchman was also less affected by the rainbreak, which came early in the second set and punctured his rival’s momentum.
Returning to the court, Haase broke immediately and never looked back. In the third set he raced into a 4-1 lead, while Kohlschreiber did not help his own cause by squandering three break points.
A consolation for the 28-year-old Bavarian is that his run here will see him break into the world top 20 for the first time.
Both players now head to London to take part in the Olympics tennis tournament at Wimbledon.