Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2014 Contents A62
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BARCELONA, Spain — Top-ranked
Rafael Nadal’s clay-court struggles
worsened yesterday as his 41-match
winning streak at the Barcelona Open
ended with a three-set loss to Nicolas
Almagro in the quarterfinals.
Nadal was looking for his ninth title
in Barcelona but lost 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4,
a week after going out in the quarterfinals
of the Monte Carlo Masters at the same
Almagro converted his second match
point, smashing a forehand down the
line for his first career victory over his
fellow Spaniard on the 11th try.
Nadal hadn’t lost at the tournament
since his debut as a 15-year-old in 2003.
Almagro will play either Philipp
Kohlschreiber or Santiago Giraldo in the
Maria Sharapova reaches
semifinals in Stuttgart
STUTTGART, Germany — Two-time
defending champion Maria Sharapova
needed eight match points to put away
top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4,
6-3 yesterday for a place in the Porsche
Grand Prix semifinals.
Sharapova has won 11 consecutive
matches on Stuttgart’s indoor clay. Her
semifinal opponent will be eight-seeded
Sara Errani, who was leading 6-3, 6-7
(6), 3-0 when Carla Suarez Navarro
retired with a hand injury.
“This was a big victory for me, the
biggest since my injury,” said Sharapova,
who returned late last year after missing
more than four months following shoulder
Radwanska played her best tennis in
the penultimate game, when she fought
off six match points and finally broke
Sharapova’s serve. Under pressure by
Radwanska, Sharapova made two straight
backhand errors as she dropped her serve.
But Radwanska could not keep the
momentum and Sharapova’s forehand
winner down the line gave her two more
match points. Sharapova wasted the first
with a wild forehand that was both long
and wide, but then nailed a forehand
winner to the corner to end the match.
Sharapova is aiming for her first title
of the year and the 30th of her career.
Ranked No 9, she would have fallen out
of the top 10 with a loss yesterday.
“I’ve been on the tour for so long I
wasn’t really thinking about it,” she said.
Suarez Navarro received treatment after
winning the second set and quit three
“I feel really sorry, I have huge respect
for her,” Errani said. “It is not easy to
play her. I tried to move her around and
to be aggressive.” (AP)
Nishikori, Gulbis storm
into Barcelona semifinals
BARCELONA, Spain — Kei Nishikori of
Japan and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia over-
powered opponents to reach the
Barcelona Open semifinals yesterday.
Fourth-seeded Nishikori continued his
good run since returning from a groin
injury with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Marin
Cilic of Croatia.
He goes on to play ninth-seeded Gulbis
after the Latvian dismissed Teymuraz
Gabashvili of Russia 6-1, 6-4.
Gulbis saved all five break points against
Gabashvili, who had knocked out fifth-
ranked David Ferrer. (AP)
Defending champ Rosol
into Bucharest semis
BUCHAREST, Romania — Defending
champion Lukas Rosol won his eighth
successive match at the Nastase Tiriac
Trophy by eliminating fourth-seeded
Gilles Simon 706 (2), 6-2 in the quar-
The unseeded Czech defeated Simon,
Bucharest’s only three-time champion,
for the second year in a row. Rosol won
last year in the semifinals en route to his
first and only ATP title.
Today, Rosol will meet Robin Haase
of the Netherlands, who converted five
of his 11 break points in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-
3 victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbek-
Also in action were top seed Grigor
Dimitrov against Sergiy Stakhovsky, and
third seed Gael Monfils facing Paul-Henri
Mathieu in an all-French affair. (AP)
Nadal's struggles continue
with Barcelona loss
Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts during her quarterfinal match
against Poland’s top seed Agnieszka Radwanska at the
Porsche tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, yesterday.
Sharapova won the match with 6-4 and 6-3. AP PHOTO
Italy's Sara Errani returns the ball to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during their quarterfinal match at the
Porsche tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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