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Juan Del Potro, Berdych win in Rotterdam


ROTTERDAM TOMAS Berdych took his indoor record to an unblemished 8-0 this season as the Czech overpowered Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Rotterdam Open.

But the second-seeded perfectionist was slightly annoyed after losing serve for the only time in the match in the second set, a mistake which he quickly rectified to get the contest back on levelpegging.

“I played a good match but I’m not happy with that error,” said the world number seven, who was unable to play his Rotterdam quarter-final a year ago after coming down with a fever. “I was trying to keep my level high and I did it to save that one game. But I still managed to win in two sets, so it’s all okay at the end.

“Of course, I have hopes of winning the tournament but it is one match at a time for me,” said the winner of the Montpellier title earlier this month.

Berdych completed his 67- minute victory over the 45thranked Seppi on a fifth ace of the afternoon at the Ahoy stadium, after breaking the Italian three times.

Berdych took a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head series, having last played Seppi in 2008.

Berdych will on Saturday face off against third seed and tournament debutant Juan Martin Del Potro, who hammered Serb seventh seed Viktor Troicki, 6-0, 6-1 in just over an hour.

Del Potro won the first eight games and allowed his opponent just one before getting on with the runaway victory.

He had won his last two meetings with Berdych, both played in 2009.

The other two quarter-finals featured top seed Roger Federer playing Jarkko Nieminen after passing into the last eight after his secondround opponent, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, withdrew through injury.

World number three Federer is playing Rotterdam for the first time since he won the 2005 title.

French fifth seed Richard Gasquet was aiming for the semis against Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko.

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