Fognini, Youzhny into Stuttgart semis

07/11/2014 1:46 PM

07/11/2014 1:46 PM

Stuttgart, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seeds Fabio Fognini and Mikhail Youzhny were a pair of quarterfinal winners Friday at the Mercedes Cup tennis event.

The top-seeded reigning champion Fognini eased past seventh-seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3 in 81 minutes, while the second-seeded 2002 Stuttgart titlist Youzhny, of Russia, held off eighth-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 at Tennis Club Weissenhof.

The Italian Fognini defeated German Philipp Kohlschreiber in last year's finale at this clay court tournament.

"I think I played better than yesterday," said Fognini.

The other quarterfinals saw third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut overcame sixth-seeded compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) and Czech slugger Lukas Rosol upend fourth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Saturday's semifinals will pit Fognini against Bautista Agut and Youzhny versus Rosol.

Fognini beat Bautista Agut in the final four here a year ago.

"I'm happy I have another opportunity to play tomorrow in the same semifinal as last year," Fognini said. "But I think it will be completely different. He's improved a lot in the past year. He's in good shape, but me too. I feel great, especially at this tournament. It's going to be a tough match, but I'm ready."

The 2014 Stuttgart champion will earn $105,000.

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