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Tennis round-up: Bhambri's campaign ends at Citi Open

August 05, 2017 12:33 IST

India's Yuki Bhambri plays a return against USA's Kevin Anderson during the Citi Open at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington DC on Friday

IMAGE: India's Yuki Bhambri plays a return against USA's Kevin Anderson during the Citi Open at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington DC on Friday. Photograph: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Yuki Bhambri fought valiantly before a three-set defeat against 15th seed Kevin Anderson brought an end to his impressive campaign at the ATP Citi Open in Washington on Friday.

The Indian qualifier, who savoured his best ever performance on the ATP World Tour, went down fighting 4-6, 6-4, 3-6 against the world number 45 from South Africa in the quarter-finals.

"I had a good tournament but disappointed with the result today. I felt I had a shot after winning the second set but got broken early in the third set and it's much harder to come back against a big server," Bhambri told PTI.

"I have fought well all week and felt comfortable playing against the big guys which is a good step moving forward. Looking forward to the rest of the season and hope to stay healthy," he added.

"It was a really tough match tonight. Conditions were hot, it was a little gusty, balls were flying," said Anderson, who did not get to bed until after 2 a.m. local time following his late night victory over top seed Dominic Thiem on Thursday.

En route to the quarter-finals, Bhambri scalped world number 22 and defending champion Gael Monfils from France and world number 100 Guido Pella from Argentina.

The 25-year-old earned 90 points, which should help him touch 150 in the world rankings. He also pocketed US$44595 as prize money for his brilliant effort.

India's challenge ended at the hard court event when Rohan Bopanna and his American partner also lost their quarter-final.

The unseeded Indo-American combo lost 5-7, 4-6 to fourth seeded American legends Mike and Bob Bryan.

Japan's Kei Nishikori  (left) greets USA's Tommy Paul after his win at the Citi Open at Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Washington on Friday

IMAGE: Japan's Kei Nishikori (left) greets USA's Tommy Paul after his win at the Citi Open at Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Washington on Friday. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/strong>

Second seed Kei Nishikori shrugged off fatigue and saved three match points before beating unheralded American Tommy Paul 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in their Citi Open quarter-final on Friday.

The world number nine seemed destined for an early exit in the fierce Washington heat when 20-year-old Paul brought up match point at 5-3 in the second set with a backhand winner down the line.

Nishikori survived with an audacious drop shot from the base line that Paul could not run down, however, before staving off two more match points in the tiebreak and taking the second set.

That appeared to break the spirit of the 225th-ranked Paul and Nishikori, who had post-midnight finishes to his previous two matches at the tournament, took control in the final set to advance to Saturday's semi-finals.

Next up for the 27-year-old Japanese is another 20-year-old in German fifth seed Alexander Zverev, who had too much in his arsenal for Russian Daniil Medvedev and won their quarter-final 6-2, 6-4 in less than an hour.

"I felt good from the start to the end. It was a great match for me," world number eight Zverev told Tennis Channel.

"I knew I had to take his time away, play my aggressive game and dominate as much as I could and it worked out very well today.

"Last year I didn't come to the net very often. This year I'm trying new things, trying to be more aggressive. At times it's working out."

The other semi-final will pit American Jack Sock against South African Kevin Anderson in a battle of the big servers.

Sock won his quarter-final against Canadian third seed Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4.

In women's action, top seed Simona Halep wilted in the afternoon heat and retired with fatigue at 2-6, 6-3,1-0 down in her clash with Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who will play Oceane Dodin of France for a place in the final.

The other women's semi-final will be an all-German affair with fourth seed Julia Goerges taking on unseeded compatriot Andrea Petkovic in an all German affair.

Muguruza cruises, Kvitova eliminated at Stanford Classic

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza made short work of Ana Konjuh to move into the semi-finals of the Stanford Classic on Friday, while second seed Petra Kvitova was thrashed 6-2, 6-0 by 18-year-old American Catherine Bellis.

Top seed Muguruza, playing in the first match of the day, eased through her quarter-final 6-1 6-3 against the fifth seed at Stanford University in California, breaking the 19-year-old Croat five times in a match that lasted barely an hour.

"I think today I was very accurate," said the Spaniard in an on-court interview.

"Ana is such a powerful player and super young, I knew I had to be concentrated.

"I had to match her, be aggressive as well. I'm happy that I did it, and that it didn't turn bad in the second set.

"I think she served a little bit better, and did less mistakes ... made the match a little bit more equal. It was a little tougher in the second set."

Local product Bellis is one of three Americans in the semi-finals along with Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys.

Kvitova dropped the first game to love on serve and it did not get much better from there as she ran up 26 unforced errors.

The Czech missed six months after being stabbed in her left hand by an intruder at her home in the CzechRepublic in December.

Bellis, ranked 44th in the world, will take on fellow Californian Vandeweghe in a Saturday semi-final, while Muguruza will face third-seed Keys.