Friday, May 16, 2008

Andreas Seppi Marathon battle againts Nicolas Kiefer in Hamburg

Andreas Seppi Marathon battle againts Nicolas Kiefer in Hamburg

Italian Andreas Seppi advanced to his maiden ATP Masters Series semifinal after a marathon and hard-fought encounter against 30-year-old Nicolas Kiefer, who was attempting to become the highest-ranked German in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

The 24-year-old Seppi served for the match at one set and 5-3, but Kiefer recovered and went on to serve for the match himself at 5-4 in the deciding set. Seppi eventually ran out a 3-6, 5-7, 7-5 winner in the pair’s first career meeting over three hours and 14 minutes on Center Court.

Three years ago Seppi lost to eventual finalist Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals. The World No. 43 now has a 14-12 record on the season.

Kiefer, currently ranked No. 41, hit 10 aces but could only convert four of 14 break point opportunities. He won 113 of 231 points – five fewer than his conqueror. He is the first German quarterfinalist at the Rothenbaum since Tommy Haas reached his second last eight match in 1999. Kiefer drops to 9-8 on the season.

Federer beat Seppi in their lone career meeting in the second round of ATP Masters Series Monte-Carlo in April 2007.

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(AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)