Muller makes further strides in Nottingham


Gilles Muller continued his fine form on grass this season by beating fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the semi-finals of the Aegon Open.

The experienced left-hander from Luxembourg triumphed 6-3 6-4 in Nottingham on Thursday to set up a last-four encounter with second seed Pablo Cuevas.

World number 41 Muller was beaten by Bernard Tomic at the quarter-final stage at Queen's last week, having ousted David Ferrer en route to the final in s-Hertogenbosch, and is once again mounting a strong challenge for a first ATP World Tour title this week.

Eighth seed Muller won all but three points on his first serve, booming down 14 aces and grasping three of nine break-point opportunities to seal victory in just an hour and 10 minutes.

Dolgopolov, playing his first grass-court tournament of the year, led 2-0 in the second set, but Muller came storming back and turned on the style with an audacious between-the-legs winner down the line before wrapping up a clinical victory.

Cuevas had to work a lot harder to book his place in the last four, saving a match point before beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8).

Baghdatis was on the verge of victory in the deciding set at advantage on the Cuevas serve when leading 5-4, but the Uruguayan stood firm and fought back from 4-0 down in the tie-break to advance.

Top seed Kevin Anderson led 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 4-3 when bad light ended play. The pair will return on Friday to decide who will face Andreas Seppi, a 5-7 6-4 6-4 winner over Dudi Sela, in the semi-finals.