The tenth edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors had to suffer the loss of the tournament’s two top-seeds when Ivo Karlovic and Adrian Mannarino were taken out in their opening matches at the Dome Sportova, but still five of the top eight competitors remained in the draw for the quarterfinal clashes on Friday.
Third seed Guillermo García-López defeated the tournament’s number seven Viktor Troicki, who has won all four previous meetings between the two, for the very first time on the ATP World Tour. The in-form-Spaniard, who reached the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne last week, emerged victorious in two hours and 28 minutes winning 6-1, 6-7, 7-5.
“I’m really happy to reach my first ATP semi-final of the year. I played a good match against Viktor today. He also had a good start into the season by winning the tournament in Sydney, so I knew that it would become a tough match,” Garcia-López told afterwards. The 31-year-old from Albacete was a set and a break up but Troicki found his way back into the encounter. “It was only one break in the second set. When he broke my serve, the match was even again and it was close until the end. Viktor made a lot of points through his first service, where I couldn’t do anything but I remained focused on every single point,” the world number 33 explained his key to success today.
Fifth seed Andreas Seppi came back from a set down beating Ricardas Berankis 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 in just under two hours. The 24-year-old Lithuanian, the youngest remaining player in the draw, couldn’t capitalize on a 4-1 lead in the tie-break of the final set and the experienced Italian converted his fourth match point to reach his second semi-final of the year after Doha in the season’s opening week.
In the battle of two former Zagreb Indoors champions Marcos Baghdatis defeated sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Both players reached a career high eighth position in the ATP rankings and met for their first encounter since September 2010. In a pretty entertaining affair with good rallies, the 29-year-old Cypriot fired 14 aces and closed the match out after one hour and 51 minutes.
“From the beginning of the week I felt a bit tired but I’m very happy that I found a way to win the match today. Mischa is a very tough opponent, we know each other very well and I tried not to give him many points by unforced errors. I put as many balls back and I was very fortunate to win,” Baghdatis told afterwards. “When you are injured it’s tough mentally. I wanted to start fresh again and decided to go back on Challenger level to get some match practice playing four or five matches a week. I won four Challenger events, played a lot of matches in a short period of time and now I’m confident enough with my body to go through this and here I am after a long time reaching a semi-final,” the world number 67 told about reaching the stage of the last four for the first time on ATP World Tour level since Brisbane 2013.
In the final quarterfinal of the day eighth seed Marcel Granollers defeated Igor Sijsling winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes. The Spaniard served eleven aces and converted three of his five break point opportunities to reach the semi-finals.