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Anderson, Van Der Merwe Delight Local Support; Devvarman Closes On Final

Johannesburg, South Africa

van der Merwe© Reg CaldecottIzak van der Merwe has advanced to his first tour-level semi-final.

Fourth seed Kevin Anderson kept alive hopes of an all-South African final at the SA Tennis Open as he dismissed Slovakian Karol Beck 6-3, 6-1 Friday to reach the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament in Johannesburg.

Wild card Izak van der Merwe is also through to the semi-finals in the bottom half of the draw.

Johannesburg native Anderson matched Beck with seven aces and converted all four break point chances he created to seal victory in just 58 minutes. The 6’8 right-hander is through to his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the season, after reaching the last four in Brisbane (l. Roddick), and improved to a 6-3 match record. 

Van der Merwe kept his nerve to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final much to the delight of a South African crowd. The World No. 170 won 65 per cent of service points and hit 11 aces past German Simon Greul for a 7-6(5), 6-2 win in one hour and 41 minutes. Former World No. 55 Greul hit seven double faults to drop to a 2-3 record on the season. 

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Indian Somdev Devvarman is one victory away from appearing in his second ATP World Tour final after he beat wild card Rik de Voest 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1. The pair met last year in a Davis Cup tie.

Last year's Asian Games singles and doubles gold medallist converted six of 13 break point opportunities to wrap up victory in two hours and 26 minutes. The World No. 110 reached the Chennai final in 2009.

Sixth seed Adrian Mannarino, currently a career-high No. 67 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, required just 55 minutes to beat Frank Dancevic 6-3, 6-2. The 22-year-old Mannarino won 75 per cent of service points and converted all three of his break point opportunities.  

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