Sun, Feb 21, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Nadal to face Cuevas at Rio

AP, RIO DE JANEIRO

Rafael Nadal on Friday advanced to the semi-finals of the Rio Open without hitting a shot.

The top seed moved on after his quarter-final opponent, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, withdrew before the clay-court match with a shoulder injury.

Tournament organizers said Dolgopolov hurt his shoulder in a doubles match on Thursday.

Nadal’s semi-final opponent is to be Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, who defeated Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). The match was delayed for two-and-a-half hours with Delbonis leading 4-2 in the second set.

No. 5 Dominic Thiem upset No. 2 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2. The 22-year-old Austrian won the Buenos Aires title last week — beating Nadal in the semi-finals — and is the youngest player in the ATP’s top 20 rankings.

Thiem is to face Guido Pella of Argentina in the semis. Pella defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 5-7, 6-1, 7-5, but Thiem will be a strong favorite to reach the final.

On the women’s side of the ATP-WTA event, Petra Martic of Croatia defeated No. 6 Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals.

In another upset, Sorana Cirstea of Romania defeated No. 3 Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 to eliminate the last seeded player from the tournament.

? OPEN 13

AFP, MARSEILLE, France

France’s Benoit Paire on Friday ousted top seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to join second seed Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals of the Open 13.

Eighth seed Paire represents the last home hope in Marseille after Australia’s Kyrgios earlier whipped Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-4.

It was just the second win for the eighth-seeded Paire in eight meetings with his Swiss opponent and the first since 2013.

The 22nd-ranked Frenchman is next to play 12th-ranked Croat Cilic, who earlier got past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4.

Fourth seed Cilic needed just 66 minutes to spoil 24-year-old Kuznetsov’s bid for a first ATP World Tour semi-final appearance at the seventh attempt.

Cilic, 27, is looking to reach the Marseille final for the second time, having finished runner-up in 2011.

Frenchman Gasquet, ranked 10th, who pulled out of Rotterdam last week with the flu, had won two weeks ago in neighboring Montpellier.

However, he was no match for the 41st-ranked Kyrgios, whose powerful serve helped him to a straightforward victory in under an hour.

The 20-year-old fired 17 aces, dropping just six points on serve and breaking Gasquet four times.

It was Kyrgios’ second win over Gasquet in six meetings, after the second round of Wimbledon in 2014.

He will bid to reach his second ATP World Tour final against Czech Berdych, having reached his maiden final last year in Estoril, where he finished runner-up to Gasquet.

Berdych completed the semi-final lineup by easing past sixth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-3, 6-4.

The 30-year-old world No. 8 beat Kyrgios in their only previous clash at this year’s Australian Open.

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