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Nerveless Haider-Maurer Ousts Finals Hope Cilic; Almagro Tops Chela

Vienna, Austria

Haider-Maurer© Wr. Stadthalle/Bildagentur ZollesAndreas Haider-Maurer has reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final with the biggest win of his career.

World No. 157 Andreas Haider-Maurer, who arrived at the Bank Austria TennisTrophy with just two tour-level wins to his name, hit top form on Friday to reach the Vienna semi-finals.

The Austrian lucky loser, contesting his third ATP World Tour event of the year, joined top-seeded compatriot Jurgen Melzer in the last four on Friday after he beat second seed and World No. 14 Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6(1), 6-4. The late replacement for Ernests Gulbis defeated former World No. 1 and national hero Thomas Muster in the first round.

"It was great for me, I was a big underdog before the match," explained Haider-Maurer. "I played good from the beginning, served well and am happy to win this match. For sure, this is the biggest victory of my career. Maybe I can make another victory tomorrow to reach my first final. After I played Muster I felt much better."

Haider-Maurer won 74 per cent of service points and hit 10 aces past Barclays ATP World Tour Finals hopeful Cilic, who saw his bid to lift a third ATP World Tour title this year come to an end after one hour and 46 minutes of play.

Cilic, 22, dropped to a 38-20 match record on the season that started brightly with two title defences at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Wawrinka) and PBZ Zagreb Indoors (d. Berrer) plus an Australian Open semi-final exit (l. to Murray).

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Third seed Nicolas Almagro defeated eighth-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela in the pair’s first non-clay-court match. The Spaniard hit nine aces and converted four of nine break point opportunities in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory over one hour and 53 minutes for a place in his first ATP World Tour semi-final on hard courts this year.

German Michael Berrer, who fell to a resurgent Marcos Baghdatis at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February, beat the fourth-seeded Cypriot 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes.

Defending champion Melzer progressed to the semi-finals without hitting a ball when seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany pulled out with a right abductor injury.

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