Stepanek downs Anderson at Queen's

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iol spt pic Radek Stepanek REUTERS Radek Stepanek claimed another impressive scalp at Queen's Club by defeating Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals. Photo: Suzanne Plunkett

London - Czech veteran Radek Stepanek claimed another impressive scalp at Queen's Club as he followed his shock win over Andy Murray by defeating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Stepanek, ranked 42nd, ended defending champion Murray's 19-match winning run on grass on Wednesday to clinch his first victory against a player ranked in the top 10 since 2012.

And the 35-year-old continued his giant-killing streak by fighting back from a set down to eliminate world number 18 Anderson and reach the last four at the Wimbledon warm-up for the first time in nine years.

Stepanek will play either his compatriot Tomas Berdych, the second seed and a former Wimbledon runner-up, or Spanish 10th seed Feliciano Lopez on Saturday for a place in Sunday's final in west London.

Stepanek seemed to be suffering a hangover from his stunning victory against Wimbledon champion Murray during a lethargic first set display that saw the big-serving 6ft 8in Anderson overpower his opponent with ease.

But Stepanek, supported again by compatriot and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, wrestled the momentum back from the seventh seed in the second set.

He quickly seized the initiative in the final set as well, breaking Anderson in the first game with a perfectly-weighted drop shot before adding one more break to seal his latest impressive win.

Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov didn't have to break sweat to reach the semi-finals as his scheduled opponent, Ukrainian eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, was forced to withdraw ahead of their match with a thigh strain in his right leg suffered during a doubles match the previous evening.

Dimitrov will face top seed Stan Wawrinka, the reigning Australian Open champion, or Australia's Marinko Matosevic in the last four.

Sapa-AFP


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