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Comeback Kid Berankis Reaches First SF; Querrey Advances

Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Berankis © Getty ImagesRicardas Berankis reaches his first tour-level semi-final.

Ricardas Berankis continued his impressive comeback Friday at the Farmers Classic, reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in Los Angeles.The 22-year-old Lithuanian qualifier saved all three break points faced on serve and broke Mahut once in each set.

Berankis had contested his first tour-level event in nearly a year last week as a qualifier in Atlanta, where he recorded his first match win since March 2011. The former junior World No. 1 was sidelined for four months last season with a right pelvis stress fracture.

Mahut will have a chance for payback next week at the Citi Open, an ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Washington D.C., with the two players drawn to face each other in the first round.

American Rajeev Ram improved to a 6-3 match record on the season, beating Argentinean No. 3 seed Leonardo Mayer 7-6(3), 6-3 in one hour and 36 minutes.

World No. 117 Ram, into his second semi-final in three weeks following the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (l. Hewitt), won 74 per cent of points on first serve and secured two of his three break point opportunities to advance in the first ATP meeting between the pair.

Ram will face two-time champion and No. 2 seed Sam Querrey for a place in the final. The Southern California native held a 6-2, 3-1 lead in the evening match when fifth-seeded Belgian Xavier Malisse retired after 36 minutes of play with a left knee injury. Querrey dropped just five service points.

The 57th-ranked Querrey extended his winning streak in Los Angeles to 11 straight matches. He won back-to-back titles in 2009-10, but missed last year's tournament due to a right elbow injury.

Sixth-seeded Australian Marinko Matosevic ended the run of unseeded veteran American Michael Russell, winning their quarter-final 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 30 minutes.

World No. 81 Matosevic converted four break point opportunities, saving eight out of nine on his own serve in his first ATP meeting with the No. 83 ranked Russell.

The 26-year-old Australian, appearing in his first quarter-final in Los Angeles, improved to a 13-10 match record on the season following a final at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (l. to Anderson) and quarter-finals at the BMW Open (l. to Kohlschreiber) and AEGON International (l. to Darcis).

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