Soderling, Stepanek advance to semis
Top-seeded Robin Soderling beat Australian qualifier Matt Ebden 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Brisbane International tennis tournament.
The Swede will face Radek Stepanek, the 2009 Brisbane champion and last year's runner-up, in a Saturday semifinal. Stepanek beat Florian Mayer of Germany 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.
Defending champion Andy Roddick will face Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the other men's semifinal after they won quarterfinals Thursday.
Andrea Petkovic of Germany was scheduled to face France's Marion Bartoli in one women's semifinal on Friday, while Czech Petra Kvitova was to take on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the other.
Stepanek said he felt he was in control against Mayer.
''I was facing a break point, so that was a little bit of an up-and-down game, but I was able to hold my serve and then I had 100 percent control of the whole match,'' Stepanek said. ''I didn't let him come back.''
The Czech's strong run of results in Brisbane illustrates how much he enjoys this Australian Open-leadup event.
''Everything suits me here,'' he said. ''Since the first tournament in 2009 I've felt on the court here very well. It's always an honor, and when you win a tournament it's obviously a favorite place (and somewhere) you want to go back.''