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Melzer, Youzhny To Meet In Kitzbühel Quarter-finals

Kitzbühel, Austria

Mikhail Youzhny© Gepa/OsterauerMikhail Youzhny is through to his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the 2009 season.

Austrian Jurgen Melzer won his second clay-court meeting in three matches against Agustin Calleri of Argentina 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday for a place in the Interwetten Austrian Open Kitzbühel quarter-finals.

Second seed Melzer, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Friday, converted three of 11 break point opportunities for victory in 88 minutes. The World No. 26 improved to 10-14 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season and 15-8 overall at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament. Calleri, 32, dropped to a 3-8 season mark.

Melzer will contest his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since October 2008 at Vienna (l. to F. Lopez) against seventh-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who beat wild card Stefan Koubek for the first time in two years. It was the pair’s fifth meeting (Koubek 3-2).

Youzhny, ranked No. 46 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, won his 15th match of the year with a 6-2, 6-4 win in 90 minutes. This season the 26 year old has reached one ATP World Tour final at Munich (l. to Berdych) and two other quarter-finals at Rotterdam (l. to Ancic) and Marseille (l. to Llodra).

Spaniard Oscar Hernandez advanced to his third ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year (also Buenos Aires and Estoril) with a 7-5, 6-4 win over German wild card Andreas Beck in two hours and nine minutes. Hernandez, who hit six aces and saved seven of eight break points, improved to 10-14 this year and will next meet Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Chela.

Chela beat the same player for the second time in four days. The Argentine, who defeated Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 6-3, 6-4 in the final round of qualifying on Sunday, beat the lucky loser again by a 6-3, 6-2 score line in one hour and 42 minutes. Ramirez Hidalgo gained a spot in the main draw when American Robert Kendrick withdrew due to illness.

Wild card Daniel Koellerer became the second Austrian player to reach the quarter-finals at the Interwetten Austrian Open Kitzbühel after cruising past Argentine Diego Junqueira 6-1, 6-2. He won 92 per cent of his first serve points and captalised on four of his eight break point opportunities to close out the match in 61 minutes.

Koellerer entered the week ranked a career-high No. 81 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, and won the Rome Challenger in his last tournament appearance one month ago. Earlier this season, the 25 year old reached his second ATP World Tour quarter-final at the clay-court event in Acapulco.

He next faces French lucky loser Julien Benneteau, who battled through with a 6-1, 6-7(4), 7-6(7) win over Chilean Nicolas Massu in three hours and seven minutes. The 45th-ranked Benneteau has a 10-12 season record, highlighted by quarter-finals showings at Rotterdam and Marseille.

Third–seeded Romanian Victor Hanescu rounded out second round singles action, defeating Marcel Granollers 6-1, 7-6(2), and next meets another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

In the doubles draw, Melzer and fellow Austrian Julian Knowle made their way into the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over fourth seeds Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak. Melzer and Knowle, finalists at this tournament last year (l. to Melo-Sa), will confront Romanians Andrei Pavel and Horia Tecau for a place in the title match. Pavel and Tecau accounted for top seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 4-6, 7-5, 10-7.

The German-Austrian team of Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya also advanced Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final win over the Argentine-Austrian duo of Lucas Arnold Ker and Oliver Marach. They await the winner between defending champions Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa and Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley.

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