Del Potro upsets Ferrer; Gasquet wins

Tokyo, October 3:

Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro denied David Ferrer a chance to defend his Japan Open crown, eliminating the top seed in straight sets in the quarter-finals here on Friday.

The 20-year-old Del Potro — ranked 12th in the world after a blistering summer that saw him win four titles — powered his way into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over the Spanish

World No 5.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, Del Potro will play last year’s runner-up, Richard Gasquet of France,

who easily dismissed 2003 champion Rainer Schuettler of Germany, 6-3, 6-2.

Second seed Andy Roddick, fresh off a victory at the China Open last weekend, will face ninth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the other semi-final. Roddick, a former US Open champion, breezed past Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 6-3, 6-4, while Berdych pulled off a 6-0, 6-4 upset win over third seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

In the women’s draw, top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark easily beat Thai ace Tamarine

Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-1 to set up a semi-final against Jarmila Gajdosova of Slovakia, the winner over Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 7-5.

Fifth seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia edged past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1), while eighth seed Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada defeated Australia’s Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3 to set up the other semi-final.

Stuttgart Open

Stuttgart: Wimbledon champion Venus Williams will take on World No 3 Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals of Stuttgart’s WTA event after her comfortable second-round win.

The American needed a little over an hour and hit a staggering 12 aces as she overpowered Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 6-2 to set up last-eight clash with French Open runner-up, and Olympic silver medallist, Safina.

The first set was fairly close as Williams had her service broken and had to break back before sealing the opener 6-4, but the second was one-way traffic as Williams blasted eight aces, while Bondarenko replied with four double faults.

Earlier Russia’s Olympic stars Safina and Vera Zvonareva produced impressive to book their quarter-finals places. Safina had to work for her 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) win over Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, while Zvonareva, who won bronze in Beijing, dominated France’s Marion Bartoli for a 6-2, 6-0 victory.

Having needed just 21 minutes to take the first set 6-1, Safina was made to work hard in the second as the 21-year-old, 49 places below her in the WTA rankings, took the set to a tie-break with a clever selection of shots. And 2006 winner Nadia Petrova is safely in the last eight after her 6-4, 6-1 win over Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder. Petrova will play China’s Li Na, who defeated World No 1 Serena Williams on Wednesday, in the quarter-finals.