Zverev Battles Into Bastad Semis
Rising star making his mark in Bastad
German teenager Alex Zverev reached his second ATP World Tour semi-final on Friday as he defeated sixth seed Thomaz Bellucci 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad.
The 18-year-old battled through in two hours and 28 minutes, converting seven of his nine break points to record his second victory this year over Bellucci. He also beat the Brazilian last month in the first round of Nottingham.
"He played unbelievable the first two sets," said Zverev. "So I just had to get into the match somehow and luckily I got the win in the end. I'm really happy to be in the semi-finals. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Zverev's first ATP World Tour semi-final came one year ago in Hamburg, where he lost to David Ferrer. The German will look to reach his first final when he faces Tommy Robredo in Saturday's semi-finals.
The second-seeded Robredo improved to a 30-12 record at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament as he dismissed qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-3 in 77 minutes. The Spaniard saved the five break points he faced as he improved to a 5-2 lead over Mathieu in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
The 33-year-old Robredo is through to his first semi-final of the season and is chasing his third Bastad title this week. He lifted the trophy in the seaside town in 2006 (d. Davydenko) and 2008 (d. Berdych).
Third seed Pablo Cuevas is two wins away from retaining his Bastad title after defeating Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4 in 73 minutes. The Uruguayan broke serve five times on eight opportunities to claim his 21st win of the season. The 29-year-old Cuevas won his first ATP World Tour title last year in Bastad, beating Joao Sousa in the final.
Benoit Paire completed the semi-final line-up as he dismissed Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-2 in just under an hour. The Frenchman will face Cuevas for the first time as he bids to reach his first ATP World Tour final in two years.
Cabal/Farah Reach Doubles Final
“It’s my first time in Bastad and I can say it’s one of the best ATP World Tour 250s I’ve played,” said Farah. “I am very happy to be in the final and I’m looking forward to playing on Sunday.”
Looking to add to their clay-court titles in Geneva and Sao Paulo this year, Cabal and Farah will face second seeds Jeremy Chardy and Lukasz Kubot. The French/Polish duo defeated Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and Joao Souza 6-3, 7-6(5).