• Houston- Zeballos, Chela collide in all-Argentine clash

    4/10/10 6:53 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Houston- Zeballos, Chela collide in all-Argentine clash Fellow Argentines Horacio Zeballos and Juan Ignacio Chela battle for safe passage into the US Men’s Clay Court Championship final. The victor will meet either Sam Querrey or Wayne Odesnik on Sunday.

    Sixth seed Horacio Zeballos looks to reach his second career ATP World Tour final on Saturday, adding to a 2009 success in St. Petersburg (lost to Stakhovsky). The Argentine, ranked World No. 54 at week’s start, heads into the Houston semifinal with a 7-8 record in 2010.

    Zeballos, competing in his US Men’s Clay Court Championship debut, recorded an opening-round victory after opponent Taylor Dent retired with injury. The 24-year-old continued his progress, posting a 6-3, 6-2 win over Dudi Sela in round two, and a 6-4, 6-4, upset win against top-seeded former champion Fernando Gonzalez in the quarterfinal.

    Veteran Juan Ignacio Chela, ranked World No. 82, attempts to secure his 10th career ATP World Tour final. The 30-year-old Argentine made his last title-match appearance in 2007, when he captured the Acapulco trophy over former World No. 1 Carlos Moya.

    Chela is 8-9 entering into the Houston semifinal, having earned three victories this week. Following the retirement of first-round challenger Rajeev Ram, the Buenos Aires native defeated 7th-seeded compatriot Eduardo Schwank in the round of 16. Chela upended defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinal, 6-4, 6-3.

    Prediction: Zeballos in three sets.

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