In the first ever all-Japanese quarterfinal match at the BB&T Atlanta Open, world no. 54 Go Soeda defeated his countrymen Kei Nishikori convincingly in straight sets. Despite a 1st serve percentage of well under 50%, Soeda successfully saved 3 break point opportunities in the first set and managed to break Nishikori twice. The second saw more of the same with Soeda breaking his compatriot twice, allowing him the opportunity to serve out the set. Fighting off nerves, Soeda fought through a tense final game to eventually take home the victory 6-2, 6-1. The 27-year-old showed off an impressive return game and defensive skills having fought off all 7 of his opponent’s break point opportunities.
In the day match, world no. 63 Gilles Muller made it through to the semifinals with a straightforward, straight-sets victory over Australian Matthew Ebden. Muller was impressive from the start, making an impression with his serve. He dropped just three service points in the first set and only three first service points in the entire match. The Luxembourg-native broke his opponent’s serve once in each set, which was enough to secure a 6-4, 6-4 victory in just 72 minutes.
On Saturday, Soeda and Muller will play for a spot in the final. Both players are vying for their first ATP Tour title.
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