Lopez and Mueller defy age, seeding to reach Queen’s semis
LONDON (AP) Gilles Muller and Feliciano Lopez continued to defy age and their unseeded status as they progressed to the Queen’s semifinals on Friday.
Lopez, 35, saved a match point on his serve en route to ousting seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych in three sets, while Muller, 34, overcame Sam Querrey in straight sets.
”I’m a little bit old. I’m going to be 36 but I’m enjoying the moment a lot and I think I’m playing some of my best tennis,” Lopez said.
”It’s been a great run this week, especially today saving a match point against a great player like Tomas.”
After exchanging tiebreak wins, Lopez and Berdych played out a high-quality decider. The Spaniard saved a match point at 4-5 before turning the tables on Berdych to prevail 7-6 (5), 6-7 (1), 7-5.
Lopez will face sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday in a repeat of the 2014 final which the Bulgarian won at the west London venue.
Dimitrov came through a topsy-turvy encounter with Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
”It was a very tricky match, it’s never easy to play a guy you’ve never played before,” Dimitrov said. ”He definitely surprised me.”
Despite his unseeded status, Muller is the tournament’s form player.
He defeated Querrey 6-4, 7-6 (5) to stretch his winning run to seven matches after claiming a grass-court title in the Netherlands last week.
”In the important moments I’m able to bring out some great shots,” the Luxembourg player said. ”It’s a great feeling when you get that many matches in a row. It gives me a big boost and a lot of confidence.”
He’s made the Queen’s semifinals for the first time after reaching the quarterfinals in the previous two years.
Muller will face Marin Cilic, the highest remaining seed at No. 4, on Saturday. The 2012 champion cruised past Donald Young 6-4, 7-5, despite the American saving 10 of Cilic’s 12 break points.