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Rediff.com  » Sports » Unseeded Lacko stuns Rochus in Tashkent Challenger

Unseeded Lacko stuns Rochus in Tashkent Challenger

October 16, 2009 19:46 IST

Second seed Denis Istomin, third seed Marcos Baghdatis, giant-killer Oleksandr Dolgopolav Jr. and unseeded Lukas Lacko entered the semi-finals of the men' singles in the $125,000 Tashkent ATP Challenger, being played at the Olympic Tennis Stadium.

In Friday's quarter-finals, Slovakian Davis Cupper Lacko knocked out fourth seed and 93rd ranked Christophe Rochus of Belgium, winning 6-2, 6-4 in 72 minutes.

Lacko will  take on local hero Istomin, who fought off  a late challenge from eighth seeded Russian Sergiy Stakhovsky to win 6-4, 7-5.

Baghdatis displayed fine form to whip another Russian, Andrey Kumantsov 6-4, 6-2.

The Cypriot will take on giant-killer Ukrainian Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr., who ended the Russian surge in the event, outplaying Alexandre Kudraystev 6-1, 6-4 in just under an hour.

In the best match of the day, the 144-ranked Lacko served ten aces to upset the higher-ranked Rochus. Such was his dominance that the Belgian could only secure one break-point in the whole match.

In the first set the Slovak youngster broke in the  third and seventh games to take the set 6-2, while in the second set he broke Rochus in the seventh game to take the set 6-4.

"It was my day; I felt comfortable ever since I hit the first ball on court today," said Lacko after the match.

"It's my first big win over a high-ranked player this year," he added.

It was a good day for Lacko in doubles too as he teamed up with Czech player Jiri Krkoska to end the run of Uzbek pair Rifat Biktyakov and Sarvar Ikramov 6-4, 7-5 in the semi-finals.

Lacko and Krkoska will take on home favourites Istomin and Murad Inayatov in the Saturday's finals.

Baghdatis maintained his winning momentum with a precision win over unseeded Kumantsov in 67 minutes.

He played percentage tennis to win the first set, breaking Kumantsov in the first game, and then held to win the set 6-4.

In the second set, the Cypriot broke in the first and fifth games to score a convincing 6-2 win and make it to the last four.