Defending champion and top seed Tomas Berdych moved into the Shenzhen semifinals Friday with a tough 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 victory over countryman Jiri Vesely.
“You don’t play at your best level in every match,” said Berdych. “I also played a very tough match this year against Jiri at Wimbledon, which went to five sets. But I’m happy with the way I played today. It’s good to be on court, to be playing some matches. I’m having a good time.
Berdych will meet lefty Thomaz Bellucci in the semifinals. The Brazilian blasted Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-2 in his quarterfinal.
“I’m going to try to take all the positives I can from tonight’s match to get ready for tomorrow,” Berdych said. “Bellucci’s playing great tennis this week. I’m going to go out there and take my game to him, and try not to give him too many easy balls.”
No. 3 seed Richard Gasquet also reached the semifinals, beating qualifier Mischa Zverev in two breakers. The Frenchman will face Janko Tipsarevic who upended Malek Jaziri.
Tipsarevic is playing his first semifinals since his 2013 Chennai title run.
In Chengdu, 20-year-old Karen Khachanov advanced to his first career ATP semifinal beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4. The Russian will face Serb Viktor Troicki.
“I have never played him but he’s a talented young player,” Troicki said. “He proved that he can play big tennis, big games. I watched his match against Lopez. He really deserved to win. He played really aggressive tennis. I have to play really good to beat him and it’s not going to be easy. Hopefully I’ll give my best, enough to win the match.”
The other semifinal will feature Grigor Dimitrov against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ramos-Vinolas stunned top seed Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 while Dimitrov avenged an ignominious Istanbul loss to Diego Schwartzman, beating the Argentine in three.
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