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September 30, 2014

Tennis

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Berlocq reaches Portugal Open final

Carlos Berlocq returns the ball to Guillermo Gimeno Traver.
Argentine to face top-seeded Berdych

Carlos Berlocq advanced to the Portugal Open final after beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 and will next face top-seeded Tomas Berdych, who defeated Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-2.

OEIRAS, Portugal — Carlos Berlocq handed Daniel Gimeno-Traver a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 defeat in 93 minutes to reach the Portugal Open final yesterday.

The Argentine moves into his third ATP World Tour final, having claimed his maiden title last July at the SkiStar Swedish Open (defeated Fernando Verdasco). He will face top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who beat Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-2 in the other semifinal.

Berlocq is the sixth different Argentine to reach the Oeiras final since 2003 and will look to follow in the footsteps of former champions and countrymen Juan Martín del Potro (2011-12), David Nalbandian (2002, 2006), Gastón Gaudio (2005) and Juan Ignacio Chela (2004).

“I am happy to win this semifinal,” said Berlocq. “It was without a doubt a mental match. I fought hard with my beliefs. I felt my shots were tense in the tie-break and it’s not easy to play with this wind, but the important thing is I played better than him and got the victory.”

Berdych owns a 3-0 ATP Head Two Head edge over Berlocq, having most recently defeated the 31-year-old in straight sets in the 2012 Davis Cup semifinals.

The top Czech will vie for his third clay-court title and first since hoisting the trophy at the 2009 BMW Open in 2009 (defeated Mijaíl Youzhny). It will be his 22nd tour-level final overall.

“It will be great,” said Berdych. “It’s always a pleasure to get to the final stages of the week in tournaments. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Carla Suárez Navarro of Spain won her first career title in the women’s draw. She outlasted Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-4 3-6 6-4 in their final. The Spaniard had lost her previous five finals, including last year’s tournament in Oeiras.

She will head back to Spain to play in the Madrid Open before looking toward the French Open.

“For me, it’s a very special moment of the season, because we don’t have a lot of tournaments on clay,” Suárez said. “Now there’s Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, which to me is the best tournament of the year.”

BMW Open. Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan defeated defending champion Tommy Haas 6-3 6-2 yesterday to set up a BMW Open final against top-seeded Fabio Fognini.

Klizan needed just 64 minutes to beat the second-seeded German veteran, who was clearly struggling with the right shoulder injury that had kept him out of action since March 13, when he lost to Roger Federer in the fourth round at Indian Wells.

Fognini needed just over an hour to ease past German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in the other semifinal.

AP, ATP

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