ATP and WTA Washington Open: Milos Raonic and Richard Gasquet reach semi-finals
Last Updated: 02/08/14 8:27am
Wimbledon semi-finalist Milos Raonic and Frenchman Richard Gasquet both made it through to the last four of the ATP and WTA Washington Open with straight-set triumphs on Friday.
Canadian second seed Raonic fired 16 aces and lost only nine service points in defeating American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7-2) 6-2, taking only 79 minutes to book his third semi-final of the season.
"I'm getting better and better," said Raonic, who is seeking his sixth ATP title. "I played the right way at the end of the sets. When I got the advantage I kept the intensity.
"I've gotten better at knowing what I need to do. I step up in the tie-breakers and that has worked out well."
Next up for Raonic is a first career meeting with 25-year-old left-hander Donald Young, who outlasted South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to extend his best run in three years.
"He's very talented and he's very dangerous," Raonic said. "He defends well."
Meanwhile, last year's US Open semi-finalist Gasquet advanced through with a straight-sets win over Kei Nishikori.
"It's a big victory for me to win against him," said the sixth seed, who is in search of his 11th career title and first since last October at Moscow.
The 28-year-old, ranked 14th in the world, saw off his Japanese opponent world No 11 with a 6-1 6-4 victory in just 59 minutes to set up a semi-final clash with the winner of Saturday's match between Vasek Pospisil, who upset Czech top seed Tomas Berdych, and Santiago Giraldo.
They had their quarter-final suspended by rain two points into the third set.
Giraldo won the first set 7-6 (7-4) while Pospisil took the second set 6-3 and the first two points of the third set on his serve before play was halted.
On the women's side, Russian sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, was handed a walkover when American Vania King withdrew with a right hip injury.
Kuznetsova, who made her first WTA final since 2011 just four months ago at Oeiras, has a semi-final date with Russian second seed Ekaterina Makarova, who ousted fifth-seeded compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Japan's Kurumi Nara defeated France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-1 to reach a semi-final against New Zealand's Marina Erakovic, who beat Serbian Bojana Jovanovski 6-4 6-4.