Lopez ousts Berdych to reach Queen’s semis
Originally published on 13/06/14
The world No.29 hit 13 aces in a tight encounter to oust No.2 seed Tomas Berdych 6-4 7-6(7), recovering from 3-6 deficit in the second set tie-break.
Unlike most of his fellow Spaniards whose games are better suited to the clay, Lopez boasts a big serve and loves to come to the net, making him a dangerous opponent on the grass.
“God gave me this serve when I was really young, so I have to take advantage of it,” said Lopez, who won the title at Eastbourne last year. “Since the first time I played here on grass, I knew that this is the way I have to play. If I have this serve, this is definitely how I have to go on the court and play, be aggressive, try to come in, put pressure on [my opponent].”
In his first semi-final of the season, Lopez will face Andy Murray’s conqueror Radek Stepanek after the Czech booked his place in the last four with a 1-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Kevin Anderson.
“It’s great to beat a top guy [Andy Murray], but it's even tougher to back it up with a win again,” said Stepanek. “For a half hour I really had no chance. He hit every shot perfectly. I just had to wait until the first weaker moment and take my chance, which happened in the first of his service games in the second set. I got in front and ran through those two sets pretty comfortably.”
Top seed Stan Wawrinka reached the semi-finals with a 7-5 6-3 victory against the in-form Australian Marinko Matosevic, setting up a semi-final clash with doubles partner Grigor Dimitrov, who enjoyed a free pass into the last four after his opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov withdrew from their match with a thigh strain.
Meanwhile, Philipp Kohlschreiber outlasted Dustin Brown in a marathon final-set tie-break to book his place in the semi-finals of the Gerry Weber Open at Halle. Kohlschreiber took his eighth match point to win 6-4 5-7 7-6(16) after Brown had spurned five match points of his own and led 5-2 in the tie-break. Alejandro Falla is also into the last four after beating German Peter Gojowczyk 7-6(4) 7-6(2) while Roger Federer had a walkover against Yen-Hsun Lu. The Swiss will meet Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals following his 6-1 7-6(4) win over Steve Johnson.