Olivo Ousts Kohlschreiber In Hamburg, Cuevas Surges Into Semis
Uruguayan seeking third title of 2016
Pablo Cuevas moved to within two wins of his third ATP World Tour title of the season on Friday as he defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6(7), 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the German Tennis Championships 2016 in Hamburg.
The third-seeded Uruguayan fired 12 aces and won 79 per cent of his service points as he claimed victory in 79 minutes.
"I'm happy playing another semi-final in Hamburg," said Cuevas, who also reached the final four in 2009 (l. to Mathieu). "Today I played well. Mathieu is a tough player. He's so aggressive. I told myself to stay aggressive and today it was a good tactic and I hit a lot of winners."
The 30-year-old Cuevas is looking to add to his titles on clay in Rio de Janeiro (d. Pella) and Sao Paulo (d. Carreno-Busta). The right-hander also reached his first grass-court final last month in Nottingham (l. to Johnson).
Cuevas goes on to face Renzo Olivo, who saved two match points in beating top seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 1-6, 6-0, 7-5. The German was a point away from victory at 5-3, then unsuccessfully served for the match in the following game. Olivo, No. 153 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, swept the final four games of the match to move into his first ATP World Tour semi-final. Olivo broke Kohlschreiber six times (6/7) in the one-hour, 50-minute win.
"I am very happy I could finally win it, I had to play with everything I have and actually it went really well," said Olivo. Asked about the next match with Cuevas, the Argentine said, "We practise together many times. He is a very good friend. I hope I will enjoy the match and keep it up."
World No. 83 Stephane Robert is through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since February 2010, when he reached the final in Johannesburg (l. to Lopez) after battling past eighth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 29 minutes.
"It was a big fight again," said the 36-year-old Robert, who edged Inigo Cervantes in three sets on Thursday. "I'm playing my best tennis this year. The beginning of the year was amazing. I was wondering if I would be able to keep this level up and I was a bit scared about the clay-court season, but finally I started to play well. It's a good feeling for me.
"The main thing for me was managing my emotions on the big stage and at the big tournaments. Now, I'm managing my emotions well and I can enjoy playing in this atmosphere with the people here. I'm here because I want to play my best tennis and it's a great feeling to see people enjoy this."
Robert will next face Martin Klizan. The No. 7 seed moved into the semi-finals in efficient manner, downing Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-3 in 76 minutes. The Slovakian won 70 per cent of first serve points and broke Gimeno-Traver five times. The Spaniard was coming off an epic three-hour win over Daniil Medvedev on Thursday while Klizan had made quick work of German wild card Louis Wessels, winning in just 51 minutes.
"I am very proud of myself that I won today. After the injury, I have worked hard. Here I am back finally." Klizan is in contention for his second ATP World Tour title of 2016 (d. Monfils in Rotterdam), and looks forward to a rematch with Robert, whom he lost to two years ago in Melbourne. "Stephane has his style in the game. I remember our match in the Australian Open. He destroyed me that time. This is going to be a revenge, I hope."