Sela advances to Delray quarters

March 2, 2012 03:13

The Israeli duo, which is playing together in Dubai for the first time, next faces No. 3 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

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Dudi Sela

Dudi Sela 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

After failing to reach the last eight of an ATP Tour tournament throughout 2011, Dudi Sela advanced to his second quarterfinal of the year on Thursday, beating Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6- 4 in the second round of the Delray Beach International in Florida.

The 26-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 75 in the world, lost just four points on his serve in the first set and clinched it after breaking Nieminen (43) in the seventh game.

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The Finn broke early in the second set to take a 2-0 lead, but Sela quickly tied the score and broke again in the ninth game before progressing to the quarters on his serve.

Next up for Sela, who is hoping to advance to a first semifinal in more than two years, is a quarterfinal meeting with Philipp Kohlschreiber (32).

Elsewhere, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich advanced to the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday, defeating No. 2 seeds Robert Lindstedt and Hori Tecau 6-1, 6-2.

The Israeli duo, which is playing together in Dubai for the first time, next faces No. 3 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

In the singles tournament, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 7-6 on Thursday to set up a meeting with Andy Murray in the last four.

Murray, who wasted six match points and overcame a knee injury to beat Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5, faces Djokovic for the first time since the Serb triumphed in a five-set epic in the Australian Open semifinals in January.

“It was a very tense second set,” Djokovic said in a court-side interview. “Towards the end, we both had chances and both got quite nervous and made some unforced errors.

“We’ve known each other for a very long time and there are no secrets. We’re very good friends, but we’re both professionals.”

Roger Federer is also through to the semifinals after beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-4 and will face Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, who defeated France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 6-2.

World No. 3 Federer had beaten Youzhny in all their 11 previous meetings and his winning streak never looked in danger after the Russian went 3-1 behind in the first set.

The Russian, who has slumped to 34th in the world from a career-high eighth, played another poor forehand to lose his serve on the opening game of the second set, effectively ending the contest as Federer – a 16-times grand slam winner – served out.

Reuters contributed to this report

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