Taiwan's Lu reaches semifinals of U.S. Open warm-up event
Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) With the year's final Grand Slam event just days away, Lu Yen-hsun has decided to get hot at just the right time.
After reaching the quarterfinals of last week's Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati by upsetting world No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, Taiwan's top player reached the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open on Thursday with a straight set win over 14th seed Andreas Seppi of Italy.
Lu, seeded ninth at the event and currently ranked 38th in the world, his highest ranking since February 2011, faced five break points but saved them all while breaking Seppi once in each set to prevail 6-4, 6-4.
"I wasn't thinking too much. I was just trying to do my best on each point," Lu said, particularly happy that he did not commit too many unforced errors against Seppi, who is strong from the baseline.
Lu had previously defeated Blaz Rola of Slovenia and eighth seed Marcel Granollers of Spain to set up his quarterfinal clash with the Italian, and will next face Lukas Rosol, the seventh seed from the Czech Republic.
Most of the top players in the world decided to bypass the Winston-Salem Open to rest up and prepare for the U.S. Open, the year's final Grand Slam event, which begins next Monday.
The singles draws for the tournament have been released, and Lu will open against 28th seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the men's singles, a match that the Taiwanese No. 1 has a legitimate shot to win.
But the odds are against Lu making a deep run in the tournament because he would likely face top seed Novak Djokovic in the third round were he to win his first two matches.
Taiwan's Jimmy Wang is on the verge of grabbing a spot in the men's singles draw, having already won two matches in the qualifying draw.
Wang, currently ranked 132nd in the world, will book a spot in the main draw if he beats Borna Coric of Croatia later Friday in New York.
Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan is also trying to qualify for a spot in the women's singles draw and needs to defeat Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, also on Friday, to achieve the goal.
(By Luke Sabatier)enditem
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