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Saturday Briefing - Montpellier, Zagreb, Vina del Mar

Baghdatis© PBZ Zagreb IndoorsMarcos Baghdatis is bidding to reach his 12th tour-level final.

MONTPELLIER SATURDAY PREVIEW - TOP 3 SEEDS, NO. 7 STILL ALIVE ON SEMI-FINAL SATURDAY
• The Top 3 seeds and the No. 7 seed - who upset the No. 4 seed in the quarter-finals - make up the final four at the Open Sud de France, an ATP World Tour 250 indoor event in Montpellier.

• The first semi-final pits No. 2 seed Gilles Simon against No. 3 seed Gael Monfils, a match-up between two of the home country’s top players. Both are former Top 10 players knocking on the door of the elite again - Simon is currently ranked No. 12, Monfils No. 13. They have both done very well at this tournament before, this being Simon’s third semi-final here (he was also a semi-finalist in 2008 and 2009 when it was held in Lyon) and Monfils’ third as well (he has gone further before though, finishing runner-up to Andy Roddick in 2005 and winning the title in 2010). Simon has the upper hand in their head-to-head however, winning both of their previous meetings.

• The second semi pits top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic against No. 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany. Berdych was in top form at the Australian Open, making his fifth career Grand Slam quarter-final (and falling to Rafael Nadal in a tight four-setter). After a pair of straight set wins to open his week here he plays the only surprise semi-finalist, Kohlschreiber, for a spot in the final. Kohlschreiber beat No. 4 seed Richard Gasquet in three sets in the quarter-finals but will now have a difficult task in Berdych, as the Czech has beaten the German in six of their seven previous meetings (including a 63-minute, 62 60 win in their most recent meeting, in Beijing last October).

• There is added incentive for Berdych in the semi-finals. Last year he reached the quarter-finals or better 13 times in the first nine months of the season, but never went as far as a final - though he showed incredible consistency week to week, it was something of a later-round jinx. Now he has a chance to get this year started off in a much different way as he faces Kohlschreiber.

SATURDAY SEMI-FINALS FedEx ATP Head 2 Head – In Order of Play

Court Central

(3) Gael Monfils (FRA) vs (2) Gilles Simon (FRA) Simon Leads 2-0
09 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-4 2-6 6-1 ret
11 Hamburg (Germany) Clay QF Gilles Simon 6-4 3-6 6-0

Monfils FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Doha (l Tsonga)
YTD W-L: 8-2
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 4
Date of Birth: September 1, 1986
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 13

• Monfils, 25, the No. 3 Frenchman (behind No. 6 Tsonga, No. 12 Simon) comes in with an 8-2 mark on the season, opening the season by defeating Nadal in the semi-finals in Doha en route to the final (l. to Tsonga)…It was his 16th ATP World Tour final (4-12)
• Last season finished in Top 20 for fourth straight year and reached a career-high No. 7 on July 4… Ranked in Top 10 for most of season (32 weeks), from Apr. 4 to Nov. 7
• After Doha, lost in the third round at the Australian Open in five sets to No. 92 Mikhail Kukushkin
• Has played well at this tournament, reaching the final (l. to No. 3 Roddick) in 2005 when it was held in Lyon, and capturing the title here two years ago (d. Ljubicic)

Simon FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Brisbane (l Dolgopolov)
YTD W-L: 6-2
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 9
Date of Birth: December 27, 1984
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 12

• Simon, 27, who is the No. 2 Frenchman behind No. 6 Tsonga, is appearing in his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the season…In first week in Brisbane advanced to semis (l. to Dolgopolov)…In first
Grand Slam event at Australian Open, lost in second round to countryman Julien Benneteau in five sets
On Friday, needed two hours, 53 minutes to defeat young countryman Guillaume Rufin in quarter-finals
• Has nine career ATP World Tour titles (in 11 finals)…Last season won titles in Sydney in January and Hamburg in July

(1)Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs (7) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) Berdych Leads 6-1
05 Stuttgart (Germany) Clay R32 Tomas Berdych 7-6(4)  1-6 6-3
05 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R128 Tomas Berdych 7-6(6)  7-6(4) 6-4
06 Adelaide (Australia) Hard QF Tomas Berdych 6-1 6-4
07 ATP World Team Chp.-Duesseldorf  Clay RR Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal Hard R64 Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(5)  6-7(9)  6-4
11 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Tomas Berdych 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4
11 Beijing (China) Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-0
Other Meeting:
03 Braunschweig CH (Germany) Clay R16 Tomas Berdych 4-6 7-6(5)  6-2

Berdych FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Australian Open (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 6-1
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 7

• Berdych, 26, who is the top player from the Czech Republic on the ATP World Tour, only dropped two games in his opening round win over Frenchman Florent Serra and followed with a 63 64 win over Nicolas Mahut in the quarter-finals
• In lone tournament of the season, reached the quarter-finals for the second straight year at the Australian Open, falling in four sets to Rafael Nadal…Went 7- 1 in tie-breaks during tournament
• Trying to reach his 13th career final (6-6 mark) and his last title came in Beijing last October
• Only remaining player who has reached a Grand Slam final (2010 Wimbledon, l. to Nadal)

Kohlschreiber FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Auckland (l Rochus)
YTD W-L: 9-3
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: October 16, 1983
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 33

• Kohlschreiber, 28, is off to a 9-3 mark this season after posting straight-set wins over Olivier Rochus 61 64 and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 64 75, then getting by No. 4 Richard Gasquet 62 36 63
• The No. 2 German (behind No. 21 Mayer) is appearing in his second semi-final of the year (Auckland, l. to Rochus)…He also advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open (l. to del Potro)…Opened the campaign with a first round loss in three sets to No. 2 Rafael Nadal in Doha
• Last season captured his third career ATP World Tour title on home soil in Halle (d. Petzschner)….Has a 3-2 career mark in ATP World Tour finals
 
POTENTIAL FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS
Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Gael Monfils (FRA)   Berdych Leads 1-0
08 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2

Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)   Simon Leads 4-2
06 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-2
06 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay R32 Gilles Simon 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-4
08 Sydney (Australia) Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 7-6(3) 6-2
09 CZE vs. FRA WG 1st RD (Czech Rep)Carpet RR Tomas Berdych 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(2)  6-3
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-3 6-4
09 Valencia (Spain) Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-4 4-6 6-3

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) vs Gael Monfils (FRA)  Monfils Leads 5-1
08 Vienna (Austria) Hard SF Gael Monfils 6-4 5-7 7-6(2)
09 Metz (France) Hard F Gael Monfils 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2
10 FRA vs. GER WG 1st RD (France) Hard RR Gael Monfils 6-1 6-4 7-6(5)
11 Halle (Germany) Grass SF Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3
11 GER vs. FRA WG QF (Germany) Clay RR Gael Monfils 7-6(3) 7-6(5) 6-4
11 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati  Hard R16 Gael Monfils 6-2 6-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)  Simon Leads 4-1
07 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard R32 Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 3-1
07 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Gilles Simon 6-4 6-4
09 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard R32 Gilles Simon 7-5 7-6(1)
10 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R64 Gilles Simon 4-6 6-3 1-6 6-1 6-3
10 Metz (France) Hard SF Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2

ZAGREB SATURDAY PREVIEW - YOUZHNY & BAGHDATIS FACE UNSEEDED FOES IN SEMI-FINALS
• Two former Top 10 players looking to work their way back into the elite face a pair of unseeded players in the semi-finals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Saturday. They will both be looking for revenge, as those unseeded players prevailed in their only previous meetings.

• First up is No. 3 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia against Germany’s Michael Berrer. Youzhny, a former World No. 8 now ranked No. 39, battled nearly three hours and survived 22 aces to get past No. 8 seed Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-finals and will now try to reach his 18th career ATP World Tour final (has 7-10 career mark). Berrer may not be ranked very high - he is No. 105 right now - but he always lifts his game in Zagreb, reaching the final here the past two years (they are actually his only two career ATP World Tour finals) and took out the top seed, Ivan Ljubicic, earlier in the week. Berrer also beat Youzhny in their only previous meeting (at an indoor hard court event, too).

• Next up is No. 6 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus against Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko. Baghdatis kept his perfect record in Zagreb alive on Friday, beating No. 4 seed and defending champion Ivan Dodig in straight sets - he is now 8-0 lifetime here, going 5-0 to win the title in 2007 and 3-0 so far this year. Like Youzhny, Baghdatis is also a former World No. 8 - he is now at No. 45. The No. 97-ranked Lacko is coming off a third round showing at the Australian Open (taking out Top 50 players Ljubicic and Donald Young en route) and is now having his best career week, beating No. 2 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr. and No. 7 seed Robin Haase en route to his first career ATP World Tour semi-final. He did also beat Baghdatis in their only prior meeting, at Wimbledon in 2010.

SATURDAY SEMI-FINALS FedEx ATP Head 2 Head – In Order of Play

Centre Court

Michael Berrer (GER) vs (3) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) Berrer Leads 1-0
07 Moscow (Russia) Hard R16 Michael Berrer 7-5 6-4

Berrer FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 3-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: July 1, 1980
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 105

• Berrer,  31, is trying to reach the final in Zagreb for the third straight year and has only lost one set en route to the semi-finals…He opened with a 76 61 win over Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli and followed with a 64 64 victory over top seed Ivan Ljubicic before coming back to defeat top Austrian Jurgen Melzer 57 64 64                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
• This is his first ATP tournament of the season and last week reached the quarter-finals at the Heilbronn Challenger (l. to Stebe)
• Has an 11-3 career mark in Zagreb, losing to Marin Cilic two years ago and Dodig last year in the final

Youzhny FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Doha (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 5-2
YTD Titles: 0:
Career Titles: 7
Date of Birth: June 25, 1982
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 39

• Youzhny, 29, is appearing in his second semi-final in Zagreb, having reached the semis in 2007 (l. to Ljubicic)…Has an 8-3 career mark in Zagreb…He edged out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 76(10) 36 76(6) on Friday in the quarter-finals…He is also left in the doubles semi-finals (w/Baghdatis)
• The No. 2 Russian is appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final since last October on home soil  in St. Petersburg…His last final came in St. Petersburg in 2010 and his last title came in Kuala Lumpur in October 2010…Has a 7-10 career mark in ATP World Tour finals
• Last season was first year since 2006 he didn’t win a title
 
(6) Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK) Lacko Leads 1-0
10 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass R128 Lukas Lacko 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-1

Baghdatis FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Sydney (l Benneteau); QF: Brisbane (l Murray)
YTD W-L: 9-3
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 4
Date of Birth: June 17, 1985
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 45

• Baghdatis, 26, who won the title in his previous appearance five years ago, has reached the semi-finals with wins over Lukas Rosol 46 63 63, Lukasz Kubot 64 62 and defending champion Ivan Dodig 64 75 in the quarter-finals
•  The Cypriot comes in with a 9-3 match record on the season, opening with a quarter-final in Brisbane (l. to Murray) and following with a semi-final in Sydney (l. to Benneteau)…Then lost in the second round at the Australian Open (l. to Wawrinka)
• Has reached at least one ATP World Tour final in six of the past seven years (except ’08) and has a 4-7 career mark in title matches

Lacko FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 5-1
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: November 3, 1987
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 97

• Lacko, 24, has posted back-to-back three-set wins this week over Potito Starace 76 67 63 and No. 2 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr. 60 67 61 and No. 7 Robin Haase 64 64 to reach his first career ATP World Tour semi-final…Two years ago he reached five quarter-finals, his previous best ATP World Tour result 
• He opened the season by qualifying at the Australian Open and reaching the third round with wins over No. 30 Ivan Ljubicic in five sets and No. 42 Donald Young (l. to Nadal)…Afterwards, jumped from  No. 119 to No. 97
• He and Berrer are the only players remaining without a career ATP World Tour title

POTENTIAL FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS

Michael Berrer (GER) vs Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)  Baghdatis Leads 2-1
06 New Haven (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(5) 7-6(6)
10 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard QF Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(5) 6-1
10 Vienna (Austria) Hard QF Michael Berrer 5-7 6-1 6-4

Michael Berrer (GER) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK)   Berrer Leads 1-0
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R128 Michael Berrer 7-5 4-6 6-3
Other Meetings:
07 Furth CH (Germany) Clay QF Michael Berrer 7-5 6-4
09 Bratislava CH (Slovakia) Hard SF Michael Berrer 2-6 6-2 7-6(2)
11 Bratislava CH (Slovakia) Hard QF Lukas Lacko 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-4

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)  Youzhny Leads 4-2
05 Wimbledon (England) Grass R128 Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 3-6 6-1 6-4
07 Marseille (France) Hard QF Marcos Baghdatis 2-6 7-6(7) 7-5
08 Marseille (France) Hard QF Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(2) 6-3
09 London / Queen's Club (Great Britain)Grass R32 Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 7-6(3)
09 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Hard R16 Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3
10 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Hard QF Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5) 7-5 6-1

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK)   Youzhny Leads 3-0
10 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(3) 7-6(5) 6-1
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay R64 Mikhail Youzhny 2-6 6-3 6-1
10 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(8) 6-3 6-3 6-2

VINA DEL MAR SATURDAY PREVIEW – ARGENTINE TRIO, FRENCHMAN LEAD SEMI-FINAL LINE-UP
• The semi-finals of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar on Saturday feature three veteran clay courters from Argentina and a Frenchman who is enjoying his first appearance at this tournament.

• In the opening match, Argentine countrymen Carlos Berlocq, the No. 7 seed, and No. 2 Juan Ignacio Chela meet for the second time. Two years ago, Berlocq upset Chela in the second round of Sao Paulo. Berlocq, who turned 29 on Friday, is appearing in his second career ATP World Tour semi-final (’07 Bucharest). Chela is making his first semi-final showing in Chile in 9th career appearance. His previous best showing was a pair of quarter-finals. The 32-year-old Chela is trying to reach his 13th career ATP World Tour final (6-6).

• In the second match, top seed Juan Monaco of Argentina and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy square off for the fourth time. Monaco leads the series 2-1 but they have split the two previous clay court meetings. Monaco is trying to reach his third final on Chilean soil, having finished runner-up in 2008 and ’10. Overall he is 3-8 in career ATP World Tour finals. His last title came in 2007 when he won three titles that year. Chardy is looking to advance to his third career ATP World Tour final (1-1 mark), having won his maiden ATP World Tour title in Stuttgart in July 2009. He also was runner-up in Johannesburg  earlier that year. The Frenchman and Berlocq are the only players yet to lose a set this week.

SATURDAY SEMI-FINALS FedEx ATP Head 2 Head – In Order of Play

Central Court

(7) Carlos Berlocq (ARG) vs (2) Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) Berlocq Leads 1-0
10 Costa do Sauipe (Brazil) Clay R16 Carlos Berlocq 7-6(5) 6-2

Berlocq FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 5-2
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: February 3, 1983
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 55

• Berlocq,  29, who celebrated his birthday with a 63 64 win over countryman Federico Delbonis on Friday, is appearing in his second career ATP World Tour semi-final (’07 Bucharest)…He and Jeremy Chardy are the only players left yet to drop a set going into the semi-finals
• Has a 7-4 career mark in Vina del Mar and lost in quarter-finals in 2007-08,his previous best results
• He is off to a 5-2 start this season and he’s won at least one round in all three tournaments played this year, reaching the second round in Auckland (l. to Verdasco) and the Australian Open (l. to Karlovic)
• The No. 4 Argentine (behind No. 10 del Potro, No. 25 Chela, No. 29 Monaco) last year finished a personal-best No. 60 and comes in a career-high No. 55 this week

Chela FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 4-2
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: August 30, 1979
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 25

• Chela,  32, who is the oldest player remaining in the semi-finals, is appearing in his first semi-final at the tournament in nine appearances
• He enters with a 4-2 mark on the season, opening with a second round loss in Auckland (after a bye) to Frenchman Benoit Paire and reaching the third round at the Australian Open (l. to Ferrer)
• He is attempting to reach his 13th career ATP World Tour final (6-6 mark) and his last title came in Bucharest in September 2010

(1)Juan Monaco (ARG) vs Jeremy Chardy (FRA) Monaco Leads 2-1
09 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay R64 Juan Monaco 6-2 7-5
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris  Hard R64 Juan Monaco 7-6(6) 7-5
10 ATP World Team Chp (Duesseldorf) Clay RR Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4

Monaco FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 2-1
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: March 29, 1984
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 29

• Monaco,  27, is appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season in his second tournament…Last month he opened with a five-set first round loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Australian Open
• He is looking to reach his 12th career ATP World Tour final (3-8) and his last final showing was in Valencia last November (l. to Granollers)…It was also his first career ATP hard court final
• Has finished in the Top 30 the past three years and in four of past five (except ’08)…It was four years ago on this day (Feb. 4) he reached a career-high ranking of No. 14

Chardy FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 3-1
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: February 12, 1987
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 82

• Chardy  24, who will turn 25 in eight days, is appearing in his first semi-final on Chilean soil and has yet to drop a set this week (along w/Berlocq)
• The Frenchman is attempting to reach his third career ATP World Tour final…In February that year he was runner-up in Johannesburg (l. to Monfils) and in July ’09, he captured his first ATP title in Stuttgart (d. Hanescu)…Finished a career year-end best No. 32 in ‘09
• He began the season by winning the New Caledonia Challanger title and followed with a five-set first round loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open

POTENTIAL FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) vs Juan Monaco (ARG)   Monaco Leads 5-0
08 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R128 Juan Monaco 7-6(5) 7-5 6-1
08 Poertschach (Austria) Clay R32 Juan Monaco 4-1 ret
11 Bastad (Sweden) Clay R32 Juan Monaco 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 6-2
Other Meetings:
03 Bolivia F1 (La Paz) Clay F Juan Monaco 6-4 6-3
03 Argentina F6 (Buenos Aires) Clay SF Juan Monaco 6-3 7-6(1)

Carlos Berlocq (ARG) vs Jeremy Chardy (FRA)   First Meeting

Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) vs Juan Monaco (ARG)  Monaco Leads 6-2
04 Buenos Aires (Argentina) Clay R16 Juan Monaco 7-6(4) 6-3
05 Acapulco (Mexico) Clay R32 Juan Monaco 6-2 6-3
06 Costa Do Sauipe (Brasil) Clay QF Juan Monaco 6-3 6-2
06 Acapulco (Mexico) Clay R32 Juan Ignacio Chela 4-6 7-6(4) 3-0 ret
07 Costa Do Sauipe (Brasil) Clay QF Juan Ignacio Chela 6-4 2-6 7-5
10 Santiago (Chile) Clay R16 Juan Monaco 6-3 7-5
10 Buenos Aires (Argentina) Clay R16 Juan Monaco 7-6(3) 4-6 6-2
10 Acapulco (Mexico) Clay R16 Juan Monaco 6-4 7-6(4)

Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) vs Jeremy Chardy (FRA)   First Meeting

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