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Rochus Upsets Querrey To Reach QFs

Delray Beach, U.S.A.

Evgeny Korolev moved through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since last June at Warsaw (l. to Davydenko). © Getty ImagesEvgeny Korolev moved through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since last June at Warsaw (l. to Davydenko).

Belgian Christophe Rochus surprised American No. 2 seed Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.  Rochus broke Querrey for the fifth time in the match to secure the win in 51 minutes.

The 30-year-old Rochus, Belgium’s No. 2 tennis player at No. 60 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, advances to his second straight quarter-final on the ATP World Tour. Last week in Memphis, he defeated Americans Donald Young and Mardy Fish before losing to Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets.

Querrey had also come into Delray Beach from quarter-final efforts the past two weeks at San Jose and Memphis. The 21 year old opened the 2009 ATP World Tour season with a runner-up finish at Auckland (l. to del Potro), and afterward reached a career-high ranking of No. 33.

Rochus, who is playing in Delray Beach for the first time in seven years and the third time overall, will need to defeat Austrian Stefan Koubek for the first time in five career meetings in order to reach the semi-finals. (Head-to-head: Rochus vs Koubek) 

Koubek, the 2000 Delray Beach champion, won 86 per cent of his first serve points and capitalised on three of his eight break point chances to defeat No. 8 seed Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 6-3. Lu had knocked out two-time ATP World Tour champion and 1999 winner Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.

The 32 year old is making a comeback from a back injury that sidelined him for six months last season, and advances to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since September 2007 at Mumbai. Prior to this week, Koubek’s last win in Delray Beach had come in the 2000 final (d. Calatrava). He had lost in the first round the following three years.

Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev (pictured) opened the action Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over American Robert Kendrick. He won his two break points in the decisive set while Kendrick went one for five on his opportunities.

The 21-year-old Korolev moves through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since last June at Warsaw (l. to Davydenko). Coming into his Delray Beach debut this week, the Muscovite had won just two tour-level matches this season. He upset former World No. 1 Carlos Moya in the first round at the Australian Open before losing to Roger Federer, and followed with a second round showing at Zagreb (l. to Veic).

He next faces Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, whom he defeated in 2007 at the clay-court tournament at Valencia. Garcia-Lopez reached the Delray Beach quarter-finals for the third time in four event appearances after rallying to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

The 25 year old made his best showing in Delray Beach on his event debut three years ago, defeating Andre Agassi in the quarter-finals before falling to Belgian Xavier Malisse in the next round. Garcia-Lopez reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the 2009 ATP World Tour season three weeks ago at Johannesburg (l. to Gil).


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