tennis racket 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After brushing off the last Israeli, Simeon Ivanov of Bulgaria survived the quarterfinals of the $10,000 ITF Futures tournament at Hadar Yosef on Thursday.
Ivanov, who beat Amir Weintraub - Israel's last remaining representative - in the previous round and is ranked 925 in the world, defeated Olivier Charroin of France (1022) in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. An outstanding lob in the final game left Charroin stranded mid-court.
On Friday, Ivanov faces Fred Hemmes of the Netherlands (503) in the first semifinal. Hemmes beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany (817) 7-6, 1-6, 6-2.
The most closely-contested quarterfinal saw Croatian Vjekoslav Skenderivic (498) defeat the eighth-seeded Lazar Magdincev of Macedonia 7-5, 7-5. The players matched each other game for game before Skenderivic broke serve to win the first set.
Skenderivic, after falling behind by a break in the second set before breaking back to bring himself even, targeted Magdincev's single-handed backhand with high balls that caused him difficulty.
Skenderivic then broke his opponent's serve again in the 12th game to win the match.
"It was very difficult and was only decided by a few points," said Skenderivic.
In the last quarterfinals, Mikhail Elgin of Russia (676) defeated Marin Bradaric of Croatia (866) by a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 margin.
Elgin faces Skenderivic in the other semifinal. "I expect [the semifinal] to be just as close as the last," said Skenderivic.
The men's doubles continues with semifinals on Friday as Andreas Haider-Maurer, winner of last week's Futures tournament at Ramat Hasharon, and his partner, Christoph Steiner, face the third-seeded pair, Dodig and Kadric, both of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The second semi pits French pair Charroin and De Bonnevie against Roche, also of France, and Schoeck of Germany.
The ITF women's circuit semifinals on Friday are Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland (926) vs the Netherlands' Nicole Thyssen (465), and Marlot Meddens, also of the Netherlands, (672) vs Pemra Ozgen of Turkey (426).
The futures tournament was marred by a mini-scandal on Monday when junior world number one Thiemo De Bakker and fellow Dutchman Antal Van Der Duim were both sent home by their coaching staff after getting intoxicated and going wild on the streets of Tel Aviv and in their hotel lobby.
De Bakker was the runner-up in Ramat Hasharon last week, but was withdrawn from this week's event along with fellow teenager Van Der Duim.
Allon Sinai contributed to this report.