PORTUGAL OPEN 2014
Berdych, Raonic Reach Quarters
by ATP Staff|
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World No. 7 Tomas Berdych beat Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-2 to begin his Portugal Open campaign on Thursday in Oeiras. The Czech top seed broke serve three times from five opportunities to claim victory in 76 minutes, recording his 22nd tour-level win of the season.
“I took my chances very well, even though I was a bit down, especially on my serve,” said Berdych. “There's a lot of space to improve. [In the quarter-finals] I need to go out there very focused and play my best tennis.”
The 28-year-old Berdych is making his first appearance since 2005 at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament. The right-hander is looking to win his second title of the season, following victory on hard court in Rotterdam (d. Cilic).
Playing at a career-high World No. 9, Milos Raonic made a confident start to his Oeiras campaign, dismissing Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes. The Canadian won 76 per cent of his service points and converted three of his eight break points to win his first contest with Cuevas.
The 23-year-old Raonic is coming off three successive quarter-final showings at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (l. to Dolgopolov), Miami (l. to Nadal) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Wawrinka). He is looking to reach his first ATP World Tour clay-court final this week and goes on to face Carlos Berlocq after the Argentine defeated Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-3.
"It was difficult to find momentum, so overall I look back on the match and I'm happy with how everything went," said Raonic. "I have to keep getting better in every match. If I do so, the opportunity will be there [to win the tournament] and it'll be about me stepping up and taking it."
Portuguese wild card Gastao Elias reached the Oeiras quarter-finals for the second year in a row after upsetting fourth seed and recent Casablanca champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The 23 year old next will face Victor Hanescu after the Romanian battled past upcoming Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Defending Champs Reach Semis
Defending champions and third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. The Mexican/American duo won one of two team titles in 2013 in Oeiras, beating Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer. For a return trip to the final they will face Portuguese pair, Gastao Elias and Joao Sousa, who dismissed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Philipp Oswald 6-3, 6-1.
Top seeds Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero beat Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-2, 6-2 to earn their semi-final berth. They will face Matthew Ebden and Dmitry Tursunov, who edged fourth seeds Frantisek Cermak and Mikhail Elgin 6-7(6), 6-4, 12-10.