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Acasuso Ends Robredo's Streak

Acapulco, Mexico

Jose AcasusoAlfredo EstrellaJose Acasuso in Acapulco

Argentine Jose Acasuso, the No. 5 seed, snapped Tommy Robredo’s winning streak at 12 matches as he upended the third-seeded Spaniard 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

The two best players of the 2009 Latin America clay-court swing were facing off for the fourth straight week, having met in the semi-finals at the previous three stops. Acasuso prevailed over Robredo in Vina del Mar en route to a runner-up finish at the opening leg of the swing (l. to F. Gonzalez), and Robredo won their following two clashes as he went on to clinch his eighth and ninth ATP World Tour titles at Costa do Sauipe (d Bellucci) and Buenos Aires (d. Monaco).

Acasuso, who converted three of his seven break point opportunities during the one-hour, 27-minute match, improves to a 10-6 record at the ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament and matches his best previous result in Acapulco – a semi-final run last year (l. to Almagro).

He will look to reach his 12th ATP World Tour final when he faces No. 2 seed Gael Monfils, who held a 6-3, 6-7(4), 4-1 lead in his quarter-final match when Argentine Leonardo Mayer retired due to cramps. The 22-year-old Frenchman, who is making his first clay-court appearance since a semi-final finish at Roland Garros last June, will be attempting to reach his seventh ATP World Tour final.

Monfils has enjoyed a successful start to the 2009 ATP World Tour tennis season with a 12-4 record. He reached the semi-finals at Doha and Rotterdam and in between reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, helping him break into the Top 10 of the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday.

Defending champion Nicolas Almagro won his eighth straight match at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, defeating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 7-6(2) in an all-Spanish quarter-final. Almagro fired his 14th ace to set up six match points in the second-set tie-break, and converted on his third opportunity to secure the one-hour, 13-minute victory.

He said afterward: “It was my best match in the week. I was solid from the back and this was the key to win the match.”

The fourth-seeded Almagro is through to his first semi-final of the 2009 tennis season, and his third in five appearances at the ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament. Last year, he clinched the title at the final stop of the Latin America clay-court swing with a straight-sets win over Argentine David Nalbandian.

Almagro finished as the 2008 match wins leader on clay, compiling a 30-8 record. He has a 5-2 record thus far in the season, including a quarter-final run at Costa do Sauipe (l. to Gil) and first-round exit at Buenos Aires (l. to Hernandez).

The World No. 21 will face off against Martin Vassallo Arguello for a spot in the title match after the Argentine knocked out Austrian qualifier Daniel Koellerer 6-3, 7-6(6). Koellerer had been responsible for upsetting top seed Nalbandian in the first round.

Vassallo Arguello had earned his place in the quarter-finals by saving two match points in his opening match against Spaniard Ivan Navarro, and upsetting No. 7 seed Marcel Granollers in the second round. He is through to an ATP World Tour semi-final for the second time, previously reaching this stage in 2007 at Vina del Mar (l. to Horna).

“It will be a intense match against Martin,” said Almagro. “He has a good backhand and can play aggressive tennis so I will have to play my game and play as well as today if I want to reach the final.”


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