Belgian qualifier slides into semis in Barcelona
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Belgian qualifier Kristof Vliegen upset third-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Friday to advance to the Open Seat Godo semifinals.
Vliegen, world ranked 136th, is the first qualifier to reach the semifinals since 1997. He'll meet Tommy Robredo of Spain, who defeated fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (2). Nalbandian rallied from two breaks down to forced the first-set tiebreaker against Vliegen, who won it comfortably. In the second set, Vliegen broke in the fifth game, missed serving for the match at 5-3, but broke serve again to reach his first semifinals in 15 months.
"Today I was under no pressure and had nothing to lose, until I realized at 5-3 that I could win the match,"
Nalbandian falls in Barcelona quarter-finals
BARCELONA, April 30 (Reuters) - Argentine third seed David Nalbandian tumbled out of the Barcelona Open quarter-finals on Friday with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 defeat to tenacious Belgian qualifier Kristof Vliegen.
Vliegen set the pace for the match by pulling 5-3 ahead in the first set, and although a determined Nalbandian then shrugged off two set points to level at 6-6, he was unable to hold his concentration and handed his opponent the tie-break. The two players seemed almost equally matched in the second set of the two-hour struggle, with many of the games stuck at deuce for several minutes. But the 21-year-old Belgian was not to be denied and, at 5-4 up, broke Nalbandian's serve to claim his place in the last eight.