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Andreev, Gicquel To Meet In Quarter-finals

Casablanca, Morocco

Marc Gicquel In Action© El KhiatMarc Gicquel In Action

Top seed Igor Andreev outlasted Frenchman Nicolas Devilder on Thursday to book his spot in the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix Hassan II, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Casablanca.

In a second-round match lasting three hours and 16 minutes, Andreev lost out in a close first-set tie-break 13-11 before rallying to win the second-set tie-break and breaking once in the deciding set to clinch victory 6-7(11), 7-6(5), 6-4.

The 22nd-ranked Andreev, who is making his Casablanca debut this week, was also a quarter-finalist (l. to Ferrer) in Dubai earlier in the season. The 25 year old is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final since last July, when he reached back-to-back finals at Gstaad (l. to Hanescu) and Umag (l. to Verdasco).

Andreev takes a 2-1 career lead into his quarter-final clash with another Frenchman, No. 6 seed Marc Gicquel (pictured), who advanced with a tight 6-4, 7-5 victory over German Mischa Zverev.

World No. 50 Gicquel lost his own serve twice, but was able to convert four of 10 break-point opportunities on the 75th-ranked Zverev’s serve to help seal victory after one hour and 38 minutes in the pair’s first meeting. Gicquel is through to the quarter-finals for the third successive year; he went on to reach the semi-finals in 2007 (l. to Mathieu) and lost at the quarter-final stage in 2008 (l. to eventual champion Simon).

The 32-year-old Gicquel is through to his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season after qualifying into the main draw at Rotterdam and reaching the last eight (ret. vs. Murray). By winning his 70th tour-level match, the right-hander improved to a 6-8 match record on the season.

A second Frenchman advanced on Thursday as fifth seed Florent Serra eased past Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-3 in a match that featured seven breaks of serve and lasted 85 minutes. World No. 47 Serra is through to his third ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season after also reaching the last eight at Brisbane (l. to Verdasco) and Delray Beach (l. to Fish).

In the quarter-finals, Serra will face Russia’s Teimuraz Gabashvili – who knocked out Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4, 6-4 in the final match on Thursday. The 69th-ranked Gabashvili is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since Bucharest (l. to Gasquet) in September last year. He improved to a 7-7 match record on the season.


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