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Simon To Challenge Rosol In Semis; Tipsarevic Falls

Bucharest, Romania

Rosol© Raed KrishanLukas Rosol is on a giant-killing run in Bucharest and faces second seed Gilles Simon next.

Second seed and three-time former champion Gilles Simon won his 16th match in a row at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Friday, but will need to watch out for this week’s giant-killer Lukas Rosol in the semi-finals. The Czech has knocked out third seed Andreas Seppi and eighth seed Viktor Troicki to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final. 

Simon converted four of his five break points to beat Daniel Brands 6-1, 7-5 in 78 minutes on Friday. "It was a perfect start for me," said Simon. "I was serving well and returning most of the time and playing good from the baseline. I didn't miss any easy shots in the first four games. Then I got a little bit tight and played more defensive. I lost my serve at the very beginning of the second set and I knew I had to be more aggressive. I'm happy with the way I finished the match."

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Simon has won this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament on his past three visits in 2007 (d. Hanescu), 2008 (d. Moya) and 2012 (d. Fognini).

Rosol was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Troicki. The Czech saved all 10 of the break points he faced to prevail in 77 minutes. World No. 48 Rosol, who knocked out Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon last year, will attempt to beat Simon for the first time.

Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez caused another upset as he defeated top seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes. Garcia-Lopez converted four of his 16 break points and hit eight aces to record the ninth Top 10 win of his career.

The No. 87-ranked Garcia-Lopez is coming off a runner-up showing at the Rome Challenger last week (l. to Reister) and is through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since July 2007, when he reached the last four in Stuttgart (l. to Monaco).  

Garcia-Lopez goes on to face fifth seed Florian Mayer, who ended the campaign of home favourite Victor Hanescu with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory in 89 minutes. The German broke serve twice and won 73 per cent of his service points to beat Hanescu for the second time in three meetings.

“I think I played better than yesterday and the first round,” said Mayer. “I played more aggressive, served pretty well and played really good from the baseline. The only thing I wasn't at my best with was my return, but he served good.”

The 29-year-old Mayer will contest his first semi-final of the season. He is bidding to lift the Bucharest trophy for the second time, following victory in 2011 (d. Andujar). 

Doubles Final Set
Top seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau topped Andreas Seppi and Viktor Troicki 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 to reach the doubles final. Mirnyi/Tecau will play Lukas Dlouhy and Oliver Marach for the trophy, after the Czech/Austrian duo defeated No. 3 seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky 6-4, 6-4.

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©Lionel Maltese


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