Newport, RI, United States (4E Sports) – Unseeded Samuel Groth stunned defending champion Nicolas Mahut, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to his first ATP World Tour semifinal at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships Thursday.
With the win, the 26-year-old Groth will barge into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings when the list is released next week and guarantees the right-hander direct entry into the 2014 US Open main draw.
Groth won 82 percent of his first serves and secured two lone break points in his 77-minute win over Mahut.
Groth will face either third seed Lleyton Hewitt or American Steve Johnson in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, top seed David Ferrer opened his SkiStar Swedish Open campaign with a 6-4, 6-0 second-round victory over Victor Hanescu.
The Spaniard improved his head-to-head record against Hanescu to 4-0 after sealing the win in 61 minutes.
Ferrer goes on to face defending champion Carlos Berlocq, who fought from a set down to beat qualifier Radu Albot 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Third seed Fernando Verdasco overcame countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 7-5 in 89 minutes to advance against eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Paolo Lorenzi.
Top seed Fabio Fognini began his MercedesCup title defense with a 6-4, 6-4 second-round win over Andrey Golubev.
The Italian won 75 percent of his first service points and broke Golubev once in each set to claim victory in 79 minutes and advance against Santiago Giraldo, who edged qualifier Philipp Davydenko, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 in just under two hours.
Second seed Mikhail Youzhny powered into the quarterfinals as he dismissed Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-1 in just 69 minutes. He will next face eighth seed Federico Delbonis, who came from a set down to beat Benjamin Becker 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.
Other winners were Lukas Rosol, Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
On the women’s side, top seed Simona Halep hurdled past Aleksandra Krunic, 6-2, 6-4, in the second round of the inaugural Bucharest Open tennis tournament.
The No. 3 Halep, a Wimbledon semifinalist last week, will face Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena in the quarterfinals Friday.
Also joining Halep in the next round were Roberta Vinci, Petra Cetkovska, Danka Kovinic and Karin Knapp.
In Austria, Sara Errani eased into the quarterfinals of the Nurnberger Gastein Ladies tennis tournament with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Paula Ormaechea, 6-3, 6-0.
Other winners were Shelby Rogers, Camila Giorgi and Chanelle Scheepers.