Pospisil beats Brands to reach Valencia Open semis
VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Vasek Pospisil beat German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-3, 6-3 Friday to set up a Valencia Open semifinal against Joao Sousa of Portugal.
The big-serving Canadian broke to go 4-2 up in the first set and then again in the third and last games of the second. Sousa beat Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4, saving all five break points he faced.
Pospisil is looking to reach his second career ATP tour final and said “I will just go out there and play it point by point, like I have been, and we’ll see if I can reach the final.”
Also, Steve Johnson of the United States defeated sixth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-4.
The Californian came into the match having beaten the Spaniard at Roland Garros in their only previous meeting.
Although Johnson dropped serve in the third game, he broke back immediately and got the decisive break with Garcia-Lopez serving at 5-6 down. Johnson closed out the opener on his third set point with a forehand up the line for a clean winner.
After failing to take advantage of a break point at 4-4 in the second set, Garcia-Lopez served to stay in the match. Johnson raised his game another notch, setting up two match points with a running forehand winner, and then closed out the match with an impressive backhand lob.
“Today I won the big points and I’m fortunate to go through,” said Johnson, who fired down nine aces.
Johnson next meets the only remaining seeded player, Roberto Bautista Agut, who defeated German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3.
“I’m just enjoying the last matches and not thinking about if I’m seeded or not,” the seventh-seeded Spaniard said. He fought off two break points in the opening game and then converted his only break point opportunity with Zverev serving at 4-5, clinching the set with a backhand volley winner.
After two breaks were exchanged early in the second set, Bautista Agut took control of the match, breaking the weary Zverev for 4-2, and fighting back from 0-40 on serve in the last game to seal victory in straight sets.