Indianapolis Tennis Championships presented by Lilly
Traveling Man Dancevic Motors Into Semi-finals
by Paul Macpherson|
Following the same quirky road to the late stages of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships as he did in 2007, Canadian Frank Dancevic has motored into the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament. As he did when he reached the final two years ago, Dancevic drove to Indianapolis from his residence in Niagara Falls, stopping along the way in Detroit to collect his girlfriend.
In 2007 Dancevic took out World No. 5 Andy Roddick in the semi-finals before losing to Dmitry Tursunov in the final. But on Friday Dancevic avenged that defeat with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over the Russian – his first win in four career meetings with Tursunov.
Dancevic, at No. 121 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, was the last direct acceptance into the main draw, just as he was two years ago. “I drove down from Niagara to Detroit to pick up my girlfriend and I said ‘Let’s do it again!’ I got here Thursday thinking I was playing qualies, then I got the good news that I was the last direct acceptance,” Dancevic said. “I am just very happy to be in the semi-finals in Indianapolis once again.”
Against Tursunov, the 24 year old was broken when he served for the second set at 5-3, but he went on to win the tie-break to force a third set, in which he broke the Russian twice, first at 1-1 and again at 4-2.
“I am 1-3 against Dmitry now. I am glad I played a solid match and was able to finally beat him. In the first set I played a loose game to drop serve. I knew I could do better than that. I was able to put together a good tie-break and win the second set, which gave me some confidence. In the third set I believe I played my best."
Dancevic will next play third-seeded American Sam Querrey, who served up 19 aces in a 6-4, 7-5 win over seventh-seeded Frenchman Marc Gicquel. “I served really well today, except for one game. But overall I am happy with the way I played,” said Querrey, who saved both break points he faced and dropped just five points on his first serve. “I feel quick out there. The court is fast and suits my game well.”
On his semi-final opponent, Querrey said: “Frank is playing well. I watched a few points of his match against Tursunov. He has a solid game, very aggressive, so I know it will be a tough match.”
Robby Ginepri reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Las Vegas in March 2008 when he defeated fellow American and qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-5, 6-1, converting four of the five break point opportunities that he earned. Ginepri, a former Top 15 player, is languishing at No. 95 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings after a disappointing season. He had won just four of 17 matches before this week.
John Isner became the third American to reach the quarter-finals after firing 27 aces to beat countryman Wayne Odesnik 7-5, 6-7(2), 7-5 to set up a meeting with Ginepri. Isner saved all five break points he faced and claimed one break of serve in both the first and third sets. Isner is playing his first ATP World Tour-level event since Houston in early April.
"I'm very pleased with the match. Wayne is a tough match-up for me. He is a lefty and hits heavy to my backhand, which no one really likes. I played a sloppy second set tie-break but was able to regroup for the final set."
On finishing the match with a backhand return that hit the net cord and died, Isner said: "No-one wants to finish a match like this. It was a lucky shot and it has rarely happened to me on a match point."
With Isner or Ginepri set to advance to the final, the Indianapolis Tennis Championships is guaranteed to have a unseeded player in the final for the seventh time since turning to hard courts in 1988. Prior to 2009 the Indianapolis Tennis Championships had six unseeded players reach the final and only one, Robby Ginepri, won the singles title in 2005. The other five unseeded players to reach the final were Dancevic (2005), Felix Mantilla (2002), Vincent Spadea (1999), Olivier Delaitre (1994), Peter Lundgren (1990).