(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Italian Matteo Berrettini cruised into the Stuttgart Open last four yesterday after making light work of American Denis Kudla with a 6-3, 6-3 win in just over an hour.
The 23-year-old world number 30, who beat second seed Karen Khachanov in the previous round, looked at ease on the grass court of the Wimbledon warm-up event, despite having won his two tour titles to date on clay.
He grabbed his only break chance to win the first set and his big serve never allowed his American any chance to break back.
He comfortably held serve throughout, firing 10 aces in total, and broke the American again at 2-2 to cruise to victory a little later with a superb forehand down the line on match point.
In his fourth semi-final this year, Berrettini will now face Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the other quarter-final 6-4, 6-4 yesterday.
French Open runner-up Thiem pulls out of Halle
French Open losing finalist Dominic Thiem has pulled out of next week's grass-court tournament in Halle due to fatigue, organisers announced yesterday.
The 25-year-old Austrian was due to play in the Wimbledon warm-up event, but said he had to withdraw due to a 'state of exhaustion.
'I would have liked to play in Halle because it's always a wonderful tournament, said Thiem.
The world number four was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final last Sunday for the second straight year.
The loss of Thiem is a further blow to the Halle organisers after Japanese star Kei Nishikori also decided to skip the tournament.
The seventh-ranked Nishikori said he was still suffering from the arm injury he sustained in his French Open quarter-final loss to Nadal, during which he was treated three times on court.
The withdrawals make Roger Federer an even stronger favourite to win his 10th Halle title, having lost in the 2018 final to Croatian Borna Coric.
Fognini to make debut at Laver Cup
Italian Fabio Fognini will make his debut in the Laver Cup this year after being named in captain Bjorn Borg's Team Europe lineup alongside Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev yesterday.
The third edition of the match against Team World will be held in Geneva in September. Team Europe won the first two editions in Prague in 2017 and Chicago last year.
'I'm very excited to be playing the Laver Cup in September, Fognini said in a statement. 'Playing as part of a team is special in tennis, where we are more used to having a one-on-one battle every match.
'I'm looking forward to competing alongside all the great players on Team Europe.
Federer, one of the instigators of the team event that will have the full backing of the ATP Tour this year for the first time, and Zverev have been ever-presents while Spaniard Nadal missed last year because of injury.
Thiem, runner-up to Nadal at the French Open on Sunday for the second year in a row, missed out last year but Swedish great Borg is happy to have him back.
'I'm delighted to have Dom (Thiem) back in the team. He was a great player for us in Prague and his form is outstanding, as we saw recently at Roland Garros, Borg said.
Borg still has one spot to fill for the three-day match.
Team World Captain John McEnroe will announce his first team members in the coming weeks.