Ferrer upset in Sweden
Defending champion Carlos Berlocq upset top-seeded David Ferrer in a 6-3, 6-3 victory at the Swedish Open quarter-finals in Bastad, Sweden, on Friday. The 31-year-old Argentine, who won his first ATP world tour in Bastad last year, defeated Ferrer in 85 minutes. Third-seeded Fernando Verdasco reached the semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. On Saturday, the 30-year-old Verdasco faces 111th-ranked Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, who beat Reno Olivo of Argentina 6-2, 6-4. In the other semi-final, Berlocq faces fifth-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal, who ousted Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4.
Williams to skip Open
Swedish Open organizers in Stockholm said defending champion Serena Williams will not appear at the tournament next week because she does not feel on top form. Tournament spokesman Marcus Duner said Friday that the top-seeded American had decided to use one of her two allowed annual withdrawals, with Williams saying in a statement that she was “still not at 100 percent.” At Wimbledon, Williams could not get the ball over the net in a doubles match with her sister, Venus, stopping after three games because of what was called a viral illness. Williams told organizers she was sad to miss Bastad. “It was my favorite spot to play last year and I am deeply saddened I cannot return,” she said. Her withdrawal moves South African Chanelle Scheepers into the main draw.
Sock steps to semi-finals
American Jack Sock upset top seed John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Friday in Newport, Rhode Island, to book a semi-final date with Lleyton Hewitt at the ATP Hall of Fame Championships. Seventh seed Sock won the only break point he managed off his countryman to claim the first set, then captured the tie-breaker to oust the 2011 and 2012 Hall of Fame winner in 88 minutes. That sent 21-year-old Sock into a semi-final yesterday against 33-year-old Australian third seed Lleyton Hewitt, who ousted US sixth seed Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 in the day’s other quarter-final at the US$474,000 grass-court event. Hewitt, who won his first ATP title since 2010 at Brisbane in January, seeks his third consecutive trip to the championship match. He lost to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in last year’s final and to Isner in the 2012 title match. Saturday’s other semi-final saw Croatian second seed Ivo Karlovic against Australian Samuel Groth, who upset Mahut in the quarter-finals.
Stuttgart semi-finals set
Defending champion Fabio Fognini eased into the semifinals of the Mercedes Cup on Friday in Stuttgart, Germany, with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo. Fognini saved the only break point he faced and converted two of his six chances to beat the seventh-seeded Giraldo in 81 minutes. The top-seeded Italian, who is bidding to reach his fourth final of the season, next faces the third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Spanish compatriot and No. 6 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1). Lukas Rosol upset the fourth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). The 48th-ranked Czech next faces No. 2 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. The 2002 tournament winner defeated Argentina’s eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis 7-6 (2), 6-2. Youzhny won 74 per cent of his service points and saved the three break points he faced for victory in 1 hour, 41 minutes.