CASABLANCA, April 10, 2015
Daniel Gimeno-Traver ended Lamine Ouahab’s winning streak when he defeated the Moroccan wild card on quarterfinal Friday at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca.
The 29-year-old Spaniard lost his serve only once and seemed to be well prepared for Ouahab’s tricky game style with a lot of drop shots and risky shots. Gimeno-Traver emerged victorious in 70 minutes winning 6-4, 6-3. The 30-year-old local played his first quarterfinal on ATP World Tour level and had won 22 consecutive matches on home soil before he fell to the Spaniard.
“It was a completely different match compared to yesterday. It is difficult to play when you feel tired. You cannot find your rythm that easily and your game isn’t so precise. I made more errors and Daniel didn’t give me a real chance today. Nonetheless, reaching the quarterfinals gives me a lot of motivation. It was the first match I lost in Morocco this year and I hope that I can go on like this,” Ouahab told afterwards. “I will be in Barcelona next for personal reasons and then I will play some Challengers in Europe. I didn’t make further plans, as I didn’t know about my good result here.”
“I watched Lamine’s last two matches and I knew that the spectators would support him. That’s normal, he is playing at home. If I play in Valencia, of course the people will be with me. But the crowd was fair. They supported him in a good way,” Gimeno-Traver told about the atmosphere on centre court. “Concerning the score I was in front all the time. So I didn’t let him become too motivated. He also didn’t seem to be so fresh today,” the Spaniard added.
Second seed Martin Klizan denied Nicolas Almagro’s 250th clay court victory beating the Spanish wild card 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 34 minutes. The 25-year-old Slovakian withstood 13 aces to reach his first semi-final of the season.
“I feel great, it was a very good match today,” said Klizan. “I was very focused during every point and I’m very proud of this victory against Almagro. I always play well in Morocco; it’s like my second favourite country in the world. I spend a lot of time here playing tournaments.”
Almagro took comfort in receiving the first of four wild cards for the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid.
Third seed Jiri Vesely saved all two break points he had to face beating qualifier Aljaz Bedene in 80 minutes winning 6-1, 6-4. The 21-year-old Czech could step on court in his usual Lotto gear for the first time this week. The days before Vesely was forced to buy clothes on his own, as on his way to Casablanca his baggage got lost.
In the final encounter of the day, Damir Dzumhur, who is currently at career-best number 87 in the world, knocked out sixth seed Andreas Haider-Maurer. The Bosnian qualifier won 70% of his first service games to seal victory in 66 minutes winning 6-3, 6-3. The 22-year-old from Sarajevo will face Martin Klizan in his very first semi-final on the ATP World Tour. He has also become the first Bosnian ever to reach the final four of a tournament of this category.