Soderling, Ljubicic reach ABN semifinals
Top-seeded Robin Soderling advanced to the semifinals of the ABN Amro on Friday with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Mikhail Youzhny in a repeat of last year's final.
The defending champion from Sweden saved four break points in the first set before breaking in the 10th game to clinch the opening set, but he needed to be at his best to overpower Youzhny in a tightly-contested tiebreak.
''It was another tough one,'' Soderling said. ''I had a lot of energy and I really had to play well today.''
The fourth-ranked Swede, who is seeking his second title of the year after beating Andy Roddick at Brisbane earlier this year, next plays Viktor Troicki, who defeated Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-3.
Seventh-seeded Ivan Ljubicic beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4) to advance.
Ljubicic will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Saturday's semifinals. The Frenchman moved on to the final four without hitting a ball when fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych withdrew from the tournament with flu symptoms.
But Ljubicic had to work hard to reach the semis for the fourth time in his career.
Ljubicic squandered a match point after making ''a couple of costly mistakes in the second set tiebreak.''
The deciding third set also went to a tiebreaker, which Ljubicic won comfortably.