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Verdasco, Andreev, Seppi & Fish Reach QFs; Karlovic Falls

New Haven, CT, U.S.A.

Last year's runner-up Mardy Fish converted two of four break points.© Getty ImagesLast year's runner-up Mardy Fish converted two of four break points.

Top seed Fernando Verdasco continued his smooth progress at Pilot Pen Tennis, reaching his sixth ATP quarterfinal of the season with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over Czech player Ivo Minar in New Haven on Wednesday.

The Spaniard broke serve on four from seven opportunities and dropped just eight points behind his serve to wrap up victory in just 53 minutes and improve to a 36-20 match record for the season.

It is the third time that the 24-year-old has reached the New Haven quarterfinals, adding to his appearances in 2005 (l. to Lopez) and '07 (l. to Blake). The 6'2'' left-hander won his second career ATP title in Umag (d. Andreev) and reached the final in Nottingham in June (l. to Karlovic). He also advanced to the semifinals in Bastad (l. to Berdych) and made quarterfinal exits at Valencia (l. to Ferrer) and ATP Masters Series Hamburg (l. to Federer).

World No. 13 Verdasco goes on to face Mischa Zverev. After surrendering the first set 6-1, the German only lost four more games as he hit back to defeat American wild card Robby Ginepri 1-6, 6-3, 6-1. The Hamburg resident, who celebrates his 21st birthday on Friday, is through to his third ATP quarterfinal of the season and will look to reach his first semifinal after falling at Rotterdam (l. to Karlovic) and Umag (l. to Verdasco).

Verdasco was not to be joined in the quarterfinals by No. 2 seed Ivo Karlovic though, as the Croatian fell to Slovenian qualifier Luka Gregorc 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2. World No. 434 Gregorc faced 12 aces from the 6’10’’ Karlovic but was able to convert all three break points that he held to win his seventh career ATP match (7-7).

The 24-year-old is through to his first ATP quarterfinal and will face No. 7 seed Andreas Seppi from Italy, who defeated compatriot Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-2 to secure his place in the quarterfinals. The Caldaro resident had also defeated countryman Potito Starace in the second round.

The 24-year-old Seppi is through to his fifth ATP quarterfinal of the season, and his first in New Haven in three visits. The 6’3’’ right-hander has a 1-3 record in quarterfinals this season, making the semifinals at Masters Series Hamburg (l. to Federer), but falling in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling), Poertschach (l. to Davydenko) and Nottingham (l. to Karlovic).

Fourth-seeded Russian Igor Andreev reached his third Pilot Pen Tennis quarterfinal on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over No. 16 seed Victor Hanescu in New Haven. Andreev fired five aces and converted four of eight break point chances to avenge his loss to Hanescu in the Gstaad final after 1 hr., 36 min.

Andreev, who is enjoying a career-high South African Airways ATP Ranking of No. 23, improves to a 36-24 match record for the season. He reached consecutive ATP finals at Gstaad (l. to Hanescu) and Umag (l. to Verdasco) and has made quarterfinal exits at Masters Series events in Miami (l. to Berdych) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Davydenko).

The Muscovite will look to reach the New Haven semifinals for the first time when he faces No. 6 seed Marin Cilic on Thursday. He made quarterfinal exits on his previous two visits in 2005 (l. to Ferrer) and ’07 (l. to Karlovic).

The 19-year-old Cilic served eight aces and capitalized on three of six break points as he advanced with a hard fought 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 11 Jurgen Melzer. The Zagreb resident, currently ranked No. 31, is through to his sixth ATP quarterfinal of the season and has a 2-3 record, going on to make the semifinals at Chennai (l. to Youzhny) and Nottingham (l. to Verdasco).

No. 8 seed and last year's finalist Mardy Fish (pictured) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 9 Marc Gicquel of France. Fish converted two of four break points while saving all three break points he faced in the 64-minute match.

Gicquel double faulted on set point in the opening set and was broken in the sixth game of the second set, which proved to be the difference. Fish fired 12 aces and only lost 11 points in 10 service games.

He will face American lucky loser Jesse Levine in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Levine advanced to his first ATP quarterfinal when Belgian Steve Darcis retired with a back injury trailing 0-2 in the first set.

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