By Florian Heer
(May 2, 2014) MUNICH – The remaining eight players were all in action for the quarterfinals on Friday at the BMW Open by FWU AG. Unfortunately the weather changed its mind from Thursday’s sunshine to a cloudy sky over Munich.
Nonetheless matches started on time on Centre Court with Denis Istomin facing Martin Klizan for the third time. The Uzbek led 2-0 in head to head record before the day’s encounter. After reaching the stage of the last eight in Sydney, Montpellier as well as last week in Bucharest, Istomin contested his fourth quarterfinal of the season here in Munich. Today the world No. 55, however, couldn’t confirm his good shape of the last couple of weeks. Klizan made the better start winning the opening set in the tie-break. The Slovakian qualifier took a short break in the second frame but got back to his rhythm in the final set winning 7-6, 1-6, 6-1 in one hour and 49 minutes. Klizan advanced into his first semifinal of the season.
“I think, it was a very good match from both of us today. It was perfect tennis for the crowd,” the first qualifier since 2008, who reached the stage of the last four in Munich told afterwards. “Winning the third set was very important for me and of course I’m very happy. I’m still fit and I have enough power after playing six matches here in Munich. I like it here in Germany, everything is really good and I appreciate it playing the semis tomorrow,” the 24-year-old Slovakian added.
Tommy Haas continued his title defence against seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi. The pair met three times before on the ATP World Tour with the German running out the winner on two of those occasions. The last and only previous meeting on clay was also won by the German in straight sets at the ATP Masters in Madrid last year. This time Munich’s local hero had to fight harder. In an exciting match but with also a lot of unforced errors on both sides, Haas was the more solid player in the end. The second-seed prevailed winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 after one hour and 56 minutes to reach his third semifinal of the season.
Top-seed Fabio Fognini was next up on Centre Court when he took on Tomaz Bellucci for the second time. The Italian’s best performances this season came on clay by reaching at least the stage of the final eight in his three events on Latin America’s “Golden Swing” earlier this year. In his fourth quarterfinal in 2014 in Munich today, Fognini confirmed yesterday’s performance against Dustin Brown and defeated a visible tired Brazilian qualifier in straight sets winning 6-2, 6-2 in only 68 minutes.
“In the beginning I felt the ball really good today and I’m happy about my performance,” the winner was satisfied afterwards. “I played really well from the baseline. Tomaz seemed to have some physical problems by the end of the first set but I tried to stay focus and continued to play my game,” Fognini added. “I went to the doctors again but I feel ok. I happy to be in the semi-finals and I will go back to the hotel tonight and have some rest,” the top-seed told about his physical condition.
In the final match of the day another qualifier, Jan-Lennard Struff faced lucky loser Ricardas Berankis for the third time. The seventh highest ranked German emerged victorious in the two previous meetings on the ATP Challenger Tour and also today, Struff had the better ending winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours to advance into his second career semi-final.
“This really feels good. In the beginning of today’s match I wasn’t dominant enough on the court. My shots were too short and Ricardas put a lot of pressure on my game. In the second and third set I was able to get my rhythm and I could dictate more of the rallies,” the German qualifier analyzed and was looking forward to tomorrow’s match against the top-seeded Italian.
Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit! Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 2 MAY 2014
Singles – Quarter-finals
 F Fognini (ITA) d [Q] T Bellucci (BRA) 62 62
 T Haas (GER) d  A Seppi (ITA) 63 36 63
[Q] J Struff (GER) d [LL] R Berankis (LTU) 46 63 64
[Q] M Klizan (SVK) d D Istomin (UZB) 76(3) 16 61
Doubles – Semi-finals
 J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) d  E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) 76(3) 62
Rudi Berger Cup 2014 – Quarter-finals
 S Prechtel (GER) d M Engshuber (GER) 61 63
 T Sandkaulen (GER) d A Erler (AUT) 64 64
V Gunther (GER) d C Franzen (GER) 62 64
J Schnaitter (GER) d M Oettle (GER) 61 63
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 3 MAY 2014
CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
[Q] M Klizan (SVK) vs  T Haas (GER)
 F Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] J Struff (GER)
D Brown (GER) / J Knowle (AUT) vs [PR] C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR)
SZ start 12:00 noon
 S Prechtel (GER) vs V Gunther (GER)
J Schnaitter (GER) vs  T Sandkaulen (GER)