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Qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert discusses scoring a Top 10 win over Dominic Thiem and his unique style of play. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com.
Watch Friday highlights of quarter-final wins for Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Goffin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com. Photo: Henk Koster
David Goffin reflects on his quarter-final win over Grigor Dimitrov and why he's always enjoyed Rotterdam despite not winning a match here until this week.
Reds keeper John Hall escapes serious injury after slamming his head into the goalpost while making a save in Adelaide's 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Nishikori wasted little time jumping to a 4-0 lead, dominating the lengthy baseline rallies in capturing the opening set. Sousa settled into the match and hung tough with the top seed throughout the second set, but the World No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings secured the critical break up 5-4 to wrap up the contest in 72 minutes.
Nishikori evens his FedEx ATP Head2Head with Sousa to 1-1, with the Portuguese player prevailing via retirement last October in Tokyo.
Since dropping his opening set this week to Diego Schwartzman, Nishikori has lost nine games in his past four sets. The Japanese player is seeking his 12th ATP World Tour title and third on clay, having been the last man standing in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015.
Standing between Nishikori and the final is local favourite Carlos Berlocq, who continued his dream run in the evening session with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Thiago Monteiro. Berlocq is into his second Buenos Aires semi-final in three years (l. Nadal in 2015) and his first ATP World Tour semi-final of 2017. Nishikori and Berlocq are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 1-1, but they haven’t played in four years.
Fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta moved into his first semi-final of 2017 by outlasting fifth seed and fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a marathon match. Little separated the players in the early stages, but Carreno Busta went on a four-game run down 2-3 to grab the opening set. Ramos-Vinolas fought back by grabbing the lone break of serve in the second set at 4-4. The fifth seed went up 3-1 in the deciding set, but Carreno Busta saved his best tennis for the end by winning five of the last six games to prevail in two hours and 11 minutes.
Carreno Busta improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Ramos-Vinolas to 2-0, having prevailed against him in a third-set tie-breaker in February 2016 in Sao Paulo. He is making his fourth consecutive appearance in Buenos Aires, but had never won a match here until this year. Carreno Busta currently sits at a career-high No. 25 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Next up for him is Alexandr Dolgopolov, who advanced 7-5, 6-4 over Gerald Melzer. The Ukrainian is also through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season. Dolgopolov caused the biggest upset so far this week in Buenos Aires by taking out second seed Pablo Cuevas in the second-round.
The Brisbane Lions make it three from three with a win over Collingwood while GWS and Fremantle play out the first ever AFL Women's draw.
The AFL Women's competition witnesses its first-ever draw as Greater Western Sydney and Fremantle battle it out for a desperate 43-43 finish at Blacktown.
Donald Young didn’t have a break point chance against John Isner on Friday at the Memphis Open, but still managed to record his first win over the second seed to reach the semi-finals, 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(6).
“He’s beaten me every time we’ve played, so I wanted to finally get one of these wins. I’m glad I stayed calm and played through some tightness to come out on top,” said Young in his on-court interview. “It always come down to a couple of points here and there with John, but luckily I was able to win those points today.”
There were no break points for either Young or Isner in the first or third sets, while Isner recorded the lone break of the match up 4-3 in the second set. Young raced to a 6/3 lead in the final-set tie-break, but double faulted on his third match point at 6/5. He managed to get another chance at 7/6 and took full advantage, forcing a volley error from Isner to pick up the victory in two hours and 26 minutes.
Young improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Isner to 1-3. The Atlanta native is making his 10th consecutive appearance in Memphis and has excelled here in recent years, reaching the 2015 semi-finals and 2016 quarter-finals.
He will take the court on Saturday against the winner Ryan Harrison, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Damir Dzumhur. The American has yet to drop a set this week and is now through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Acapulco in February 2015. Young and Harrison are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 1-1, but haven’t played each other in two years.
“It means a lot for me to be back on tour and playing good. It’s been a few years since my last semi-final, so I’m really happy with this week,” said Kukushkin. “I’ve played quite well here for two years in a row, so the conditions really suit my game.”
Kukushkin dropped just 10 points in shutting out Johnson to take the opening set. The American found his form in the second set and sprinted to a 4-1 lead, but Kukushkin responded brilliantly by winning five consecutive games to prevail in 70 minutes.
The unseeded player evens his FedEx ATP Head2Head record with Johnson at 2-2. Kukushkin has been in dominant form this week, dropping just 14 games in three matches. He is now into his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Sydney in January 2015.
Next up for Kukushkin is Nikoloz Basilashvili, a 7-6(3), 6-4 winner over qualifier Matthew Eden. The Georgian player showed impressive fighting spirit in rallying from 1-4 down in the opening set and from a break down at 2-3 in the second set. Basilashvili has also been in top form this week, having taken out top seed Ivo Karlovic in a second-round victory on Thursday.
Pep Guardiola says Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy could be recalled to Manchester City for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
Shaun Marsh looks likely to have edged Usman Khawaja out of selection reckoning after notching a century for Australia on day one of the tour match against India A.
In a repeat of last week’s Garanti Koza Sofia Open final, Goffin exacted revenge on Dimitrov in more than two hours of enthralling action to clinch his first victory over the in-form Bulgarian.
“It was an amazing match, from the first point until the last, with great intensity," said Goffin. "I decided to be really aggressive from the first ball. That was the key, to show him I was ready to be aggressive. He was really solid in the second set, so it was hard to maintain that level, but in the end I found my best tennis to finish the match."
Before 2017, Goffin had not won a match in Rotterdam in three attempts. “Now I love this tournament," joked the Belgian. "Even though I didn’t win a match here before, they were close. This year I’ve come here with more confidence. That’s why I’ve won some tough matches. I’m really happy to be in the semi-finals for the first time."
The World No. 11 kept Dimitrov off balance in a series of extended rallies to claim a first set lead. However, Dimitrov had won 16 of his first 17 matches in 2017, which included two ATP World Tour titles, and replicated his recent form to force a decider.
Back-to-back passing shot winners secured Goffin an immediate break in the final set. Dimitrov pressed the third seed, but Goffin maintained his advantage and progressed to the final four to meet qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
The Frenchman, currently ranked World No. 109 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, claimed his first Top 10 singles victory with a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over second seed Dominic Thiem. Herbert will contest his second ATP World Tour singles semi-final on Saturday having dropped just nine points on serve.
“I played to my strengths, I played really well, served really well and came to the net to hit some good volleys," said Herbert. "Maybe today this is the style of game players don’t want to play, especially on this fast court."
A forehand return winner provided the crucial break in game 10 to take the first set for the 25 year old. Herbert held three match points at 5-4 before World No.8 Thiem forced a tie-break. The Rotterdam qualifier struck a pair of winners before a canny serve-and-volley ended Thiem’s tournament.
The landmark victory guarantees Herbert a Top 70 position in the rankings for the first time. Alongside partner Nicolas Mahut, the Frenchman will also contest a doubles semi-final on Saturday.
Herbert claims his doubles success, which includes eight ATP World Tour-level titles, has benefited his singles performances. “This is evident for me. For sure it has helped me a lot. If I hadn’t played finals of Grand Slams or matches in Davis Cup, I wouldn’t have been able to hold my nerve like I did," added the Frenchman. "At 4-4 (second set) I had break points to save, at 5-4 I had a 0-40 game but couldn’t make it. I stayed calm and that helped me a lot to stay focused to win in straight sets."
An 1896 premiership football trophy won by a Tasmanian club is returned to Launceston after being displayed in the wrong museum for 15 years.
Jarryd Roughead kicks a goal in his first game in 500 days as Hawthorn wins after the siren against Geelong in preseason game in Launceston.
Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke maintains he has been refused entry to the United States because of an Iranian stamp in his passport.
Jeff Horn's mother Leasa Dykstra says she never wanted him to become a boxer and tried to talk him out of it, yet Horn has become the great hope of Australian boxing and aiming to take on welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao.
What started as a marketing campaign has taken over the Memphis Open: The tournament has gone to the dogs.
Sam Querrey and his girlfriend brought their 8-month-old French Bulldog, Lou. Kevin Anderson and his wife carried Lady Kady, their 7-month-old Chiweenie, a Chihuahua Dachshund mix. “Memphis Mo”, the tournament mascot that has had his own Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote the tournament, visited the Memphis Open as well.
“The dogs are great. They're fun, and it's such an engaging way that the players can bring a little bit of home on the tour with them,” Tournament Director Erin Mazurek said. “If we can be accommodating and make our tournament feel that much more friendly and that much more engaging for them, that's exactly what we want to do.”
Fans have clamoured for the dogs. As Mo sauntered through The Racquet Club of Memphis, his supporters shouted his name and snapped photos of the 7-year-old American Lab. Mo was unphased by the attention. “He's just a mild-mannered dog,” said Griffin Lonardo, who, along with Hayley Efird, takes care of the 110-pound pooch.
By now, Mo must feel like an old pro at this tennis tournament stuff. He sat still and stared at the camera while getting a photo for his credential, issued to “Mo Efird”.
But for Lou and Lady Kady, the Memphis Open was their first foray on the ATP World Tour. They're doing just fine, thank you.
Lou watches her co-owner Sam Querrey practise and hardly mutters a noise, lying quietly on the bleachers. The flip side: She's just as quiet when the 29-year-old Querrey seeks tennis advice during practice.
“She probably sleeps like 20 hours a day so she pretty much just falls alseep anytime she's out there watching,” Querrey said.
Lou will have chances to improve. She'll be along for the ride at Querrey's next four ATP World Tour tournaments: Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and Houston. “Hopefully she will be well-behaved but we'll see,” Querrey said.
Lady Kady has a different attitude about tennis: She loves watching Anderson practise, although she mostly stayed back at the hotel during the Memphis Open.
Anderson and his wife had been talking about getting a dog for a while, he said. They welcomed Lady Kady from a dog shelter about a month ago during the middle of a rare two-month stay at home while Kevin rehabbed his right-hip injury.
The dog's previous owners had called her Lady but the Delray Beach shelter already had a dog named Lady, he said. “Of course you can't have two Ladys at the shelter. They gave her Lady Kady and it just stuck. We got her and she was responding to it pretty well. We thought it was an interesting and unique name and it was kind of fun so we just went with it,” he said.
Listed at 196 pounds, Anderson weighs exactly 191 pounds more than Lady Kady. They haven't let that difference hamper their relationship. “We've bonded here really well,” he said.
American John Isner might be who we should thank for the pooch paradise. Isner has been bringing Magill, his 9-year-old English Cocker Spaniel named after the late Georgia Bulldogs tennis coach Dan Magill, to ATP World Tour tournaments for years. Magill isn't in Memphis but he's travelled with Isner to the BB&T Atlanta Open multiple times.
In fact, Isner says Magill is partly to thank for his three Atlanta titles.
“I think dogs tend to bring good luck. They keep you relaxed, keep you in a fun mood throughout the week, which actually can help. It's not all just about hitting your forehand well, hitting your backhand well and tactics on the court. It's about being relaxed throughout the week and that can actually go a long way,” Isner said. “I generally don't like people copying on my idea but if it's the dog one, I do like that.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga held his nerve on Friday to book a place in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals where he will meet Tomas Berdych. The Czech leads Tsonga 8-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including a 7-5, 6-3 win at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open last month.
"Tomas is very consistent, with a full game: very consistent and covers the court well,” said Tsonga, ahead of their clash on Saturday. “The best strategy is to play well!” Berdych admitted, "My own game will be extremely important tomorrow, as I will try to dictate from the very beginning. I need to be focused from the first point.”
Sixth seed Tsonga, who finished runner-up to Robin Soderling in the 2011 Rotterdam final, saved two set points in the first set tie-break to beat top seed and 2014 runner-up Marin Cilic 7-6(10), 7-6(5) in just over two hours.
Tsonga led 5/1 in the first set tie-break, but could not convert three set point chances at 6/3. Cilic fought back by winning four straight points, but squandered his own set points at 7/6 and 8/7. Tsonga took his first opportunity in the second set tie-break to record his first win over Cilic since August 2011 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, and he is now one match win away from recording the 400th tour-level victory of his career.
“I’m really happy with the victory as the most important thing is that I played good tennis from the start to the end,” said Tsonga. “I have been feeling great the past couple of months, including a quarter-final at the Australian Open. Marin is a very good player and difficult to play against as he has an all-round game."
Earlier in the day, fourth seed Berdych moved one step closer to his third final at the Rotterdam Ahoy, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, where he has a 19-7 record.
Berdych, who beat Cilic in the 2014 final, knocked out defending champion Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-3. Berdych broke twice in the first set – in the fifth and ninth games, then for a 3-1 lead in the second set in an assured 59-minute performance.
"It was my best performance so far," said Berdych, who also finished runner-up to Stan Wawrinka in 2015. "It was a goal every match to try to improve. So far, I am very pleased. It’s a good feeling to be in another [Rotterdam] semi-final, as I know I can play good tennis on this court."
Third seed David Goffin takes on fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov, already a winner of two ATP World Tour titles in 2017, during the first match of Friday's evening session. Qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert faces second seed Dominic Thiem in the final match of the day.
Dutchmen Advance To Doubles SFs
Wild cards Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop delighted Dutch supporters by beating fourth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 7-6(2), 6-3 in 87 minutes for a place in the semi-finals against 2015 titlists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. The Dutchmen are 3-0 in ATP World Tour finals, including a title run at last month’s Apia International Sydney (d. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares).
While David Goffin ultimately comes out as victor in their quarter-final clash in Rotterdam on Friday, Grigor Dimitrov provides an emphatic end to this exciting rally. Photo: Henk Koster. Watch live matches on TennisTV.com.
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