• Benneteau battles Anderson in Sydney semifinals

    1/10/13 10:24 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Benneteau battles Anderson in Sydney semifinals Julien Benneteau is two wins away from his first career ATP title. Before he can really start thinking about it, he will have to get past Kevin Anderson on Friday in Sydney.

    Julien Benneteau and Kevin Anderson will be squaring off for the third time in their careers when they collide in the semifinals of the Apia International on Friday. Benneteau has won both of their previous encounters; 7-5, 6-2 three years ago on the hard courts of Lyon and 7-5, 6-3 one season later on the grass courts of Queen's Club.

    Interestingly enough, both players are on the brink of Australian Open seeding--and are still alive for a spot if a few more withdrawals take place in the next 24 hours. They are separated by one spot in the rankings, with Benneteau registering at 35th and Anderson 36th.

    Benneteau is bouncing back nicely from a first-round Brisbane loss to Jarkko Nieminen. The 31-year-old Frenchman has taken out Pablo Andujar, Radek Stepanek (via first-set retirement), and Ryan Harrison so far in Sydney. Anderson, who did not play last week, dismissed Aljaz Bedene and Feliciano Lopez before defeating Denis Istomin on Thursday.

    Anderson always has a chance in just about every match he plays because he serves huge and compliments the weapon well with surprisingly good movement from the baseline. Still, Benneteau seems to be a man on a mission this week and he should get the job done in three sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
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