Tomas Berdych return from appendicitis has gone well so far. The big Czech advanced to the semifinals today in St. Petersburg beating Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-3 Friday.
“I felt good,” Berdych said. “I am trying to improve day by day, trying to find my rhythm. My goals is to play as many matches as possible.”
Next up is the teen sensation Alexander Zverev. The German took out his third straight Russian blasting Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-2.
“I think he is a rising ATP star,” said Berdych of Zverev. “I have already played against him a couple of times. We had a couple of good battles at the beginning of this year. One of them was the Davis Cup rubber which I won in five sets. I beat him again at Wimbledon this year. He is definitely a guy with a great future. He always makes me work hard on the court to beat him.”
US Open champion Stan Wawrinka won his ninth straight match with a victory over Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-2. The Swiss will meet Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals on Saturday.
In Metz, Dominic Thiem overwhelmed Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6. He’ll meet another Gilles on Saturday in the semifinals. Gilles Simon defeated Malek Jaziri 7-5, 6-0.
“I’m very happy about the match because the return is one of my biggest weaknesses and it’s always tough against a good server like Gilles,” said Thiem. “The first set I returned really well… I broke him and I also had chances to break a second time.”
Thiem and Simon have split four meetings with the Austrian winning most recently in Rome last year.
Lucas Pouille will face David Goffin/Nicolas Mahut winner in the second semifinal.
SATURDAY ST. PETERSBURG SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
 T. Berdych (CZE) vs  A. Zverev (GER)
Not Before 3:30 pm
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs  R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
 D. Inglot (GBR) / H. Kontinen (FIN) vs K. Kravchuk (RUS) / A. Kuznetsov (RUS)
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