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Cilic, Troicki To Meet In Semi-finals

Zagreb, Croatia

Mario AncicPBZ ZAGREB INDOORSMario Ancic in Zagreb

Second seed Marin Cilic booked his spot in the semi-finals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Friday after defeating wild card Antonio Veic 6-2, 7-6(6) in an all-Croatian clash at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

The 22nd-ranked Cilic won 70 per cent of points on his own serve and converted three of 13 break point chances to prevail in 97 minutes. The Zagreb resident is playing his home event for the fourth time and had never advanced past the second round before.

The 20 year old now improves to an 11-1 record for the ATP World Tour 2009 season. He opened the campaign with his second ATP World Tour title at Chennai (d. Devvarman) and followed with a fourth round showing at the Australian Open (l. to del Potro).

In the semi-finals he will face Serbian Viktor Troicki, who sent defending champion Sergiy Stakhovsky crashing out 6-3, 6-2. Troicki converted four of eight break points and went unbroken in the 67-minute victory over Stakhovsky, who became the first lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title since Christian Miniussi in November 1991 when he won his first title in Zagreb (d. Ljubicic) last year.

Troicki, currently a career-high No. 49 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, is through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Washington in August 2008. He went on to reach his maiden final (l. to del Potro). The 22-year-old Belgrade native improved to a 6-3 record for the season, having also reached the quarter-finals at Auckland (l. to del Potro).

World No. 78 Jan Hernych advanced to the semi-finals after opponent Mischa Zverev of Germany was forced to retire due to bronchitis when trailing 4-5 in the first set. The 29-year-old Czech, who had not won an ATP World Tour match this season prior to his appearance in Zagreb, last reached an ATP World Tour semi-final on the ATP World Tour on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosh in June 2006 - when he went make his lone ATP World Tour final appearance (l. to Ancic).

Hernych next will meet Croatian seventh seed Mario Ancic (pictured), who defeated qualifier and compatriot Ivan Dodig 6-1, 6-3. World No. 29 Ancic is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour final since finishing runner-up at Marseille (l. to Murray) in February 2008. The 24 year old, who won his 200th ATP World Tour match with his second round win over Teimuraz Gabashvili, was also a semi-finalist in Zagreb last year (l. to Ljubicic).

 

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