Federer and Wawrinka both make semis in Wimbldeon warmup events
Defending champion Roger Federer reached the semi-finals of the Halle grasscourt championships, the Gerry Weber Open, on Friday without appearing on court as quarter-final opponent Lu Yen-Huen of Taiwan withdrew through injury.
Lu, who had self-deprecatingly announced that he faced a mission impossible against the Swiss former world No 1 when he said: “If I’m 150 per cemt and he’s 100 per cent I think I’d still lose”, pulled out with a recurrence of a back problem.
Federer, a six-tine winner of the tourament, now faces Japan’s world No 12 Kei Nishikori, who beat American Steve Johnson 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), for a place in the final.
Earlier, Philipp Kohlschreiber fought his way into the semi-finals by edging past fellow German Dustin Brown 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (18/16).
Kohlschreiber, who was on the losing end of a five-set marathon against Britain’s Andy Murray at the French Open, prevailed after an epic third set tie-break against world No 85 Brown.
The defeat was a bitter disappointment for Brown, who had knocked out world No 1 Rafael Nadal the previous day.
Kohlschreiber, the 2011 champion, now plays 69th-ranked Alejandro Falla for a place in the final after the Colombian overcame another German, Peter Gojowczyk, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2).
Wildcard Gojowczyk also saw his run come to an end in frustrating fashion, having claimed the scalp of third seed Milos Raonic of Canada in the previous round.
Meanwhile, at the Queen’s Club Championship, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka continued his quest for a fourth title this year by beating Marinko Matosevic of Australia 7-5, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals in his own Wimbledon preparations.
The top-seeded Wawrinka, who along with his victory at the Australian Open has also claimed titles in Chennai and Monte Carlo this season, will next play fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian advanced with a walkover when eighth-seeded opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov defaulted with a right thigh injury sustained in a second round doubles match late Thursday.
Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez held off a strong second set challenge to upset second-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).
Lopez next plays another Czech, Radek Stepanek, who rallied after dropping the first set to beat seventh-seeded South African Kevin Anderson 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Wawrinka took time to gain the upper hand against Matosevic, who fought off three break points but then double-faulted at 6-5 to gift Wawrinka the only break of the first set.
Wawrinka then earned an early advantage in the second set, with a break to lead 2-0 deciding the outcome.
Tenth-seeded Lopez had to work hard for his victory, edging the opening set after breaking to lead 3-2 on his fifth break point.
In the second set, Berdych failed to convert a break point to lead 3-1 and then held three set points in the tiebreaker at 6-3 and another at 7-6 before double-faulting on his opponent’s first match point.
“Very close, very close,” Lopez said of the match.
Anderson fired seven aces and broke 15th-seeded Stepanek twice to take the opening set. But a break for 2-0 by Stepanek decided the second set, and two breaks in the third earned the Czech his first ATP Tour semifinal place since Memphis in February 2012.
“For a half hour I really had no chance. He hit every shot perfectly,” said Stepanek.
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Published: June 13, 2014 04:00 AM