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Vesely Breaks New Ground In Düsseldorf

Dusseldorf, Germany

Vesely© AFP/Getty ImagesJiri Vesely reaches his first ATP World Tour semi-final.

Czech youngster Jiri Vesely spoiled the 33rd birthday celebration of Jurgen Melzer with a crushing 6-1, 6-1 win Thursday to reach his debut ATP World Tour semi-final in Düsseldorf.

“Jurgen didn’t play well,” said Vesely. “He was missing a lot. He was nervous at the beginning. I started pretty well. I was trying to hold him at the baseline and tried to serve very good, which I did today, and that was one of the keys that helped me win the match.” 

Vesely made the fifth-biggest jump in the Top 100 from the start of 2013 to 2014, climbing 176 spots from No. 260 to No. 84. He was the recipient of the ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates in 2013, which is awarded to the youngest player in the Top 100.

“It’s amazing,” he said of reaching the semi-finals. “It was one of my goals this year to reach the final rounds of an ATP event, and I’m very happy that I made it right before the French Open and I’m looking forward to my next match.” 

Vesely, 20, who has now built an 11-8 match record on the season, next faces big-serving Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic. “I have nothing to lose anymore, so I will try to enjoy the match, do my best, and try to win, of course,” said Vesely.

Contesting his first clay court quarter-final in more than three years, Karlovic hit 19 aces to upset defending champion Juan Monaco, who converted just one of eight break chances in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat.

Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin recorded his 150th match win as he beat No. 3 seed Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes. Their past four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings had been decided in a fifth set, including victory in an 8-6 set for Istomin in 2012 at Wimbledon.

“First semi-final on clay; I’m so happy to win,” said Istomin. “It was a good match today against Seppi. We played a lot of times and this was the first time I won in two sets… I feel confident and it’s good preparation for Paris, as well.” 

Istomin awaits the winner between top-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber and Croatian qualifier Mate Delic. Kohlschreiber led 7-5, 4-4 when the match was suspended due to darkness.

Murray/Peers Reach SFs
Second seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa. They will next face third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky, who defeated Marin Draganja and Henri Kontinen 7-6(8), 6-2.

Both teams have claimed clay-court titles this season. Murray and Peers triumphed in Munich, while Gonzalez and Lipsky won in Oeiras.

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