BANK AUSTRIA TENNISTROPHY
Nerveless Haider-Maurer Ousts Finals Hope Cilic; Almagro Tops Chela
by ATP Staff|
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).
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.
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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