Friday, October 21, 2011

Tursunov eliminated in Moscow quarterfinals

   The home-court advantage wasn't enough for Dmitry Tursunov.
   Playing in his hometown, the sixth seed lost to top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-4, 6-2 Friday in the quarterfinals of the $725,000 Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
   Tipsarevic will meet his third Russian in a row, fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, in the semifinals. It will be a rare matchup of two men under 6 feet tall. Tipsarevic, 27, is listed at 5-11 and Davydenko, 30, at 5-10.
   Three of Davydenko's 21 career ATP World Tour singles titles have come in Moscow (2004, 2006 and 2007).
   Tipsarevic, who has an outside chance to qualify for the Barclay ATP World Tour Finals next month in London, evened his career record against Tursunov, a longtime Sacramento-area resident, to 2-2.
   "It was my best match in a long time, but now it will be even tougher against Davydenko," Tipsarevic, who eliminated 2008 Moscow champion Igor Kunitsyn in the second round, said on the ATP's Web site. "It is not great to play against three Russian players in Moscow, but the crowd has been very fair, applauding my good shots."
   Tursunov beat Tipsarevic 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 7-5 two weeks ago in the first round at Tokyo. But Tipsarevic might have had a letdown after winning his first career ATP World Tour title the previous week in the Malaysian Open.
   In Saturday's other semifinal, second seed and defending champion Viktor Troicki of Serbia will face qualifier Jeremy Chardy of France.
   Troicki edged fifth-seeded Alex Bogomolov Jr., a Moscow-born American and semifinalist at last year's Sacramento Challenger, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3) in 3  hours, 38 minutes. The marathon tied the longest best-of-three-set match of the year, Rafael Nadal's 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (9) victory over Spanish countryman Fernando Verdasco in the third round at Cincinnati in August.
   "Mentally and physically it was very tough, and I am exhausted now," Troicki said. "I am in the semifinals now, and I hope I will be ready. Chardy is very talented and struggled a little bit this season but now is back in good form. I like playing here; it is almost like playing at home."
   Chardy had a much easier time than Troicki in the quarterfinals, defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-3.
   Blake advances -- James Blake, the runner-up in the recent $100,000 Sacramento Challenger, reached the semifinals of the $825,000 Stockholm Open when David Nalbandian of Argentina defaulted with a strained left hamstring.
   Blake will face Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, who beat qualifier Tobias Kamke of Germany 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, in a matchup of unseeded players in their 30s who reached the top 15 five years ago. Blake climbed to No. 4 and Nieminen to No. 13 before injuries and age took their toll.
   Blake, 31, is 6-1 lifetime against Nieminen, 30. This will be their fourth meeting in Stockholm, all in the quarterfinals or later. Blake won 6-4, 6-2 in the 2006 final for the fourth of his 10 career ATP World Tour singles titles. He also won the 2005 Stockholm crown over since-retired Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand.
   Nieminen, however, won the last meeting 6-0, 6-2 in the 2010 Stockholm quarterfinals.
   Kamke, a 25-year-old German, won last year's Tiburon Challenger.
   In the other semifinal, top-seeded Gael Monfils of France will play sixth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada. The 6-5 Raonic, 20, won his first career ATP World Tour title in San Jose in February.
   WTA tour -- Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova advanced to the doubles final of the $721,000 Kremlin Cup with yet another victory over Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova.
   The second-seeded King, a member of the Sacramento Capitals living in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Shvedova, a Moscow native who plays for Kazakhstan, edged the third-seeded Grandin of South Africa and Uhlirova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 tiebreak.
   King and Shvedova improved to 4-0 this year against Grandin and Uhlirova, with three of the victories coming by two points in match tiebreakers.
   The winners will meet fourth-seeded Anastasia Rodionova, an Australian citizen from Russia and a former Capital, and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan in Saturday's final.

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