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Delbonis Denies Isner In Nice QFs; Gulbis Prevails

Nice, France

Delbonis © Y. Brandt/Open de Nice Côte d’AzurFederico Delbonis upsets top seed John Isner in the quarter-finals.

Seventh seed Federico Delbonis prevented John Isner from clinching a comeback win on Thursday at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur, defeating the top-seeded American 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6) for a place in the semi-finals.

Isner earned a chance to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set, after he had saved match point in the 10th game of the second. He fought off two more match points down 4-6 in the tie-break before Delbonis pulled through for the victory after two hours and 12 minutes. 

World No. 11 Isner dropped his second straight third-set tie-break, including his defeat to Dustin Brown in the Houston second round.

Delbonis made his breakthrough run last year in Hamburg, where he stunned Roger Federer in the semi-finals. He won his first ATP World Tour title earlier this year in Sao Paulo.

The 23 year old will look to reach his third clay-court final when he plays fourth seed Gilles Simon on Friday. The Frenchman defeated recent Oeiras champion Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-1 to advance to his first semi-final of the season. Berlocq had reached the 100-match wins milestone with his second-round victory.

Second seed Ernests Gulbis went the distance in his quarter-final match, prevailing against good friend and fifth seed Dmitry Tursunov 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5).

The Latvian will take a 4-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record into his next match against defending champion Albert Montanes. The Spaniard advanced with a 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer.

Gulbis has already won one title on French soil this season, claiming the Marseille crown in February with back-to-back Top 10 wins over Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

Bopanna/Qureshi Rally For Final Berth
One day after saving a match point in their quarter-final match, top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi fought for a place in the doubles final. The 'Indo-Pak Express' defeated third-seeded Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-8.

Bopanna and Qureshi also reached the final in their team's previous visit to Nice, in 2010 (l. to Melo/Soares). They will either face Martin Klizan and Philipp Oswald or British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski. Klizan and Oswald won their quarter-final match Thursday, defeating Andre Begemann and Robin Haase 6-3, 6-3.

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