San Diego Open: Top seeds Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud reach semi-finals
Andrey Rublev set up a showdown against Cameron Norrie of Britain, who scored his second straight upset win over a seeded player this week, defeating No 4 Denis Shapovalov
San Diego: The top two seeds, Andrey Rublev of Russia and Casper Ruud of Norway, have reached the semi-finals of the inaugural San Diego Open.
Rublev, who ended the hopes of San Diego native Brandon Nakashima on Wednesday, kept up his strong form and beat sixth-seeded Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 7-5 on Friday.
Ruud reached the first tour-level hard court semi-final in his career with a routine 6-1, 6-4 victory over Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.
Rublev also beat Schwartzman in the recent Laver Cup.
"The match against him at the Laver Cup helped me a lot because we hadn't played for a really, really long time and I didn't know what he was doing on court," Rublev said. "The match at Laver Cup gave me confidence and also let me know how I needed to play today."
The Russian set up a Saturday showdown against Cameron Norrie of Britain, who scored his second straight upset win over a seeded player this week, defeating No. 4 Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-3, 6-1.
Ruud said his match "was closer than it may have seemed, but the key moments and important points went my way today. The three times I broke him, the games were close and at 4-3 in the second I got into a little bit of trouble on my serve but I was able to serve out a close game.
"This is my first semi-final on hard court after reaching the quarters in Toronto and Cincinnati, so it's another important step in my career. It gives me confidence for tomorrow and the belief that I can beat good players on this surface."
Ruud will face Grigor Dimitrov, after the unseeded Bulgarian outlasted Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 in the quarter-final nightcap.
The 23-year-old Norwegian has never lost at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, holding a record of 9 wins and 0 losses.
Ruud, the 8th-best ranked tennis player in the circuit, will face local favourite Federico Coria, who earlier beat fifth-seeded Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Fognini finished with 26 winners while between them the pair committed nearly 90 unforced errors. Out of a cumulative total of 25 break points, only nine were converted.