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  • Montanes meets Andujar in Casablanca semifinal

    4/9/11 6:57 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Montanes meets Andujar in Casablanca semifinal Top seed Albert Montanes looks to reach the Grand Prix Hassan II final, as he takes to the court against Pablo Andujar early Saturday. The winner will move on to face either Victor Hanescu or Potito Starace in Sunday’s title match.

    (1) Albert Montanes vs. Pablo Andujar

    World No. 24 Albert Montanes leads compatriot Pablo Andujar 2-0, prior to their Saturday afternoon clash. The players last met in 2010 in Buenos Aires, where the Spaniard recorded a straight-set victory in the round of 16.

    Montanes reached the Casablanca final four, by virtue of his 7-6(1), 6-1 win against 7th seed Fabio Fognini. The 30-year-old is set to enter the semifinal a perfect four of 4 sets contested, after scoring a straight-set victory over Filippo Volandri in the opening round. Montanes is bidding for his 10th career final on Saturday.

    World No. 69 Pablo Andujar made the semifinal with a 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Pere Riba. The 25-year-old, who ousted 6th seed Jeremy Chardy in round two, remains on course to book his first Tour final since the 2010 tournament in Bucharest.

    (5) Potito Starace vs. (8) Victor Hanescu

    Fifth seed Potito Starace holds a slender 3-2 lifetime edge against eighth seed Victor Hanescu heading into the semifinal. The Italian secured a victory last time the two battled, but trails 0-2 in clay-court matches contested since 2004.

    Starace advanced to the last four, following his hard-fought victory over third seed Gilles Simon. The 29-year-old converted five of 13 break points en route to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win in nearly two hours and 20 minutes of play. He will attempt to make his fourth clay-court final late Saturday.

    World No. 58 Victor Hanescu survived a tricky quarterfinal, having rallied to down qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov in three sets, 6-7(1), 7-5, 6-2. Friday signaled the second come-from-behind victory for the 2010 Casablanca runner-up, who battled back from a set down during the opening round. He is bidding for his fifth clay-court final on Saturday.

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