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Del Potro, Tomic Reach Sydney Semis

Sydney, Australia

Tomic© Getty ImagesBernard Tomic is two wins from retaining his Sydney title.

Top seed Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the semi-finals of the Apia International Sydney on Thursday after beating Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The World No. 5 evened his FedEx Head2Head Series with Stepanek to 3-3, serving 14 aces in a match that lasted two hours and eight minutes. "I was positive for every moment of the match. Even when [Stepanek] improved his game during the second set, I was positive and waited for my chances."

Del Potro will face fourth seed Dmitry Tursunov in the semi-finals. Tursunov, the 2008 champion, beat Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 7-6(5), 6-2. The Russian won 77 per cent of points on his first serve and saved all three break points he faced.

"I felt like I was playing well," said Tursunov. "It's obviously very difficult to play 100 per cent all the time, but it felt like I was playing well. I was doing the things that I needed to do."

The Argentine leads 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head Series, but the duo's most recent battle gives Tursunov some hope. "I had a pretty tight match against him in Cincinnati. I had multiple chances, but didn't capitalise on them, so hopefully I can use some of the information from that match to do a little bit better this time."

Watch Del Potro-Stepanek Highlights

Defending champion Bernard Tomic cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Australian recorded just his second win in seven meetings with Dolgopolov as he broke serve four times for victory in 66 minutes.

"He's very difficult to play," said Tomic. "I knew as soon as I was playing him it was going to be a difficult match. I don't like playing him. I played the right tennis. I was very focused and very clear what I needed to do."

Tomic defeated Kevin Anderson to win his first ATP World Tour title in Sydney last year. The 21 year old finished 2013 with a 25-22 match record.

Marinko Matosevic failed in his bid to make it two Australians in the Sydney semi-finals for the first time since 2000. The 28 year old was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky in 72 minutes. Stakhovsky will look to beat Tomic for the first time when the pair clash for the second time in Friday’s semi-finals.

Nestor/Zimonjic Reach Semis
In doubles, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic booked a semi-final spot with a 6-4, 3-6, 10-8 victory over fourth-seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. Nestor and Zimonjic, who have reunited this season, won the Sydney title the last time they played here together in 2010.

For a pace in the final, they will face Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who defeated Australian wild cards James Duckworth and Samuel Groth 6-4, 1-6, 10-6.

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