Tennis: Cilic and Karlovic set up all-Croatian semi-final

Marin Cilic of Croatia returns the ball to Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
Marin Cilic of Croatia returns the ball to Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (REUTERS) – Marin Cilic and fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic set up a big-serving semi-final clash at the Den Bosch Open after impressive victories at the Dutch grasscourt event on Friday (June 16).

Rising German Alexander Zverev also advanced to the last four, as did Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller meaning the top four seeds have also survived to the semis.

That is in stark contrast to the women’s event where second seed Kristina Mladenovic suffered a 6-3 6-1 quarter-final defeat to Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Top seed Dominika Cibulkova fell in the first round.

World number seven Cilic recorded his 50th grasscourt match win, beating Vasek Pospisil 6-3 7-5.

“I feel better and better, obviously after each day I’m getting used to the grass,” Cilic, who recovered a 5-2 second-set deficit, said. “I served well in critical situations.”

The 38-year-old Karlovic reached his first semi-final of the year after the third seed beat qualifier Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 in less than an hour on court.

“I was playing unbelievable, with some really good volleys. Overall I am happy with the performance,” he said.

Zverev, 20, was also detained for less than an hour as he beat 35-year-old Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-0 6-4 while Mueller beat Britain’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Mladenovic, a 2016 runner-up, struggled throughout against Tsurenko, making 24 unforced errors to her opponent’s nine.

Tsurenko will meet Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit while the other semi-final will be between Croatia’s Ana Konjuh and Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva.