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Gulbis Upsets Del Potro; Berdych Fights Past Janowicz In Rotterdam

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Berdych© Henk KosterTomas Berdych also reached the Rotterdam semi-finals in 2012.

Ernests Gulbis beat Juan Martin del Potro for the first time in three-and-a-half years on Friday when he knocked out the top seed and defending champion at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Gulbis hit 12 aces and 35 winners past fellow 25-year-old del Potro in a 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final victory, which lasted 82 minutes. “My ambition this year is to reach the Top 10 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings],” said Gulbis. “It is a big goal. I did well in the [ATP World Tour] 250s, winning two titles, but I need to do better in the Masters 1000s and go deeper in the Grand Slams.”

He will next face Tomas Berdych, who reached the Rotterdam semi-finals for the second time (also 2012). The third seed defeated Jerzy Janowicz 6-7(9), 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 28 minutes, to improve to 3-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. It was Berdych’s 10th match win of the season (10-2 overall), which includes an Australian Open semi-final exit (l. to Wawrinka).

Berdych could not convert five set point opportunities in the first set tie-break, which Janowicz clinched after Berdych hit a backhand into the net. Janowicz hit 25 winners in the 76-minute set, converting his third set point chance. “It was a tough match, especially from the beginning when I did not feel comfortable on the court,” said Berdych”. Jerzy plays aggressive and really fast, taking some of the control of the game from me. I didn’t feel that good on the court, but I found my rhythm and hit the ball cleanly after the first set.”

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Llodra/Mahut Oust Third Seeds
French duo Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut defeated third seeds and 2009-10 champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4, 4-6, 10-1 in 73 minutes for a place in the semi-finals. Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, who lifted the PBZ Zagreb Indoors trophy last week, overcame Johan Brunstrom and Jarkko Nieminen 7-6(5), 6-4 in 85 minutes.

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