Top Three Seeds Advance to Semifinals at Winston-Salem Open
No. 7 seed Sam Querrey defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov to advance to Friday's semifinals.
No. 7 seed Sam Querrey defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov to advance to Friday's semifinals.

Aug. 23, 2012

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By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The semifinals of the 2012 Winston-Salem Open will feature three of the top four seeds after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych and John Isner advanced through their quarterfinal matchups in Thursday's action.

Following is a recap of Thursday's quarterfinal matches from the Winston-Salem Open.

Berdych Bagels Darcis in Comeback Win 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
After conquering Andy Roddick on Wednesday and capturing the first set against second-seeded Tomas Berdych in Thursday's opening Center Court match, Steve Darcis of Belgium seemed well on his way to posting his second consecutive upset.

Berdych had other plans, however. The Austrian's serve came alive in the second set as he served up seven aces and won 14 of his 15 (93 percent) first-serve points. Darcis struggled against the power game of the No. 7 player in the world, winning just 11 return points in 38 opportunities in the second and third sets combined.

After his astounding performance against Roddick, Darcis simply could not compete with Berdych in the final set. The Belgian won just 11 total points, while Berdych continued to ride the momentum of his serve, winning 13 of his 17 service points and tallying a pair of aces to thwart Darcis's upset bid.

The No. 2 seed booked a spot in the semifinals with the victory, setting up a rematch from the first round of the 2008 U.S. Open with seventh-seeded Sam Querrey, a matchup that Querrey claimed 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.

"Sam is getting back after his injuries and his drop in the rankings. He's been coming back really well this summer, so it could be very tough with him. He's a big-serving guy, playing aggressively and it's always tough to play with him," Berdych said about his semifinal opponent.

Aces High: Querrey Downs Dolgopolov Behind 20 Aces
Big-serving American Sam Querrey survived a tough test from No. 4 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday afternoon, relying almost exclusively on his serve at times to pull out a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) win on Center Court.

Querrey, the world's No. 28 player, easily took the first set against the Ukrainian, breaking him on both opportunities. In the second set, though, Dolgopolov clawed his way back into the match on the strength of his net and return game. On several occasions, the fourth seed showed no hesitation in charging the net despite Querrey's powerful shots and came away with points more often than not.

In the decisive third set, Dolgopolov faltered after one of his slides went awry, rolling his ankle to the side and causing obvious discomfort. Querrey took advantage of the situation and earned three match points at 5-4 in the set, but failed to convert on each chance and the match ultimately headed to a tiebreaker.

The 6'6" San Francisco, Calif., native would not let his next chance slip away. Leading 6-2 in the breaker, Querrey dropped just one more point before putting away Dolgopolov. Second-seeded Tomas Berdych awaits Querrey in the semifinals.

Dominant Tsonga Routs Granollers 6-1, 6-2 in 53 Minutes
After rolling through his opponents in his first two matches this week, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga put on what was perhaps his most dominant performance thus far on Thursday evening by routing Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-1, 6-2 in less than an hour.

Tsonga seized control right from the start and forced Granollers into attempting to match his power. The Frenchman converted on 17 of his service points compared to only eight for the Spaniard in what was the most telling stat of the first set.

Prior to the second set, Granollers called for his trainer and received treatment on his arm. "I've had this injury since last year, and I felt it last week as well. I'm working to try to get healthy for the U.S. Open," he said when addressing the injury.

The world's No. 6 player continued hammering away in the second set, recording a quartet of aces while pushing his opponent around the court with his aggressive style. Granollers was able to win just five return points during the quick set.

"I didn't play so well today, but [Tsonga] played a great match," Granollers said following the contest.

When asked about his feelings heading into the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows next week, the No. 25 Spaniard remarked that he "feels very good" and "very confident" after making the quarterfinals in Toronto and here in Winston-Salem in two of his last three outings.

Local Hero Isner Rides Serve into Semifinals
No. 3 seed John Isner has more in common with fellow American Sam Querrey than just their gigantic stature. Isner matched Querrey's mark of 20 aces from one of Thursday's earlier matches and one-upped him, smashing 21 past Belgium's David Goffin en route to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory.

The 6'9" Greensboro native and 2011 Winston-Salem Open champion won an astounding 84 percent (46-of-55) of his service points for the match and never faced a break point from Goffin. Perhaps even more striking was the fact that Isner did not double fault even once in the matchup despite his service-based strategy.

With the win, Isner will now face top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals in a highly-anticipated matchup. The winner of the clash will almost certainly be the heavy favorite heading into Saturday's final. Isner holds a 2-1 career edge over Tsonga, including a Davis Cup victory on clay earlier this year.

 

 

 

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