ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) Top-seeded David Goffin of Belgium had more trouble than expected against Romanian qualifier Marius Copil, rallying to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the European Open on Friday.
Goffin, who is trying to qualify for next month’s season-ending ATP Finals in London, took control after dropping his serve twice in the first set. In the next two sets, he saved the only break point that he faced, and broke the 198-ranked Copil’s serve five times in the match.
The No. 12-ranked Goffin next plays Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who downed fourth-seeded Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (8), 6-3, breaking the Uruguayan’s serve twice in each set.
Third-seeded Richard Gasquet of France advanced to the last four by beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-4. Gasquet, who broke the German player’s serve three times, remains on course to reach his third final of the season.
“I knew how dangerous he was, having watched him win against Gilles (Simon) this week,” said Gasquet, who has 13 career titles. “I am very happy with the way I played, particularly in the second set, when he broke me at 4-2.”
The 19th-ranked Gasquet next plays Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who beat Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in their first career meeting – breaking him once in each set.
Gasquet lost to Edmund in straight sets in the first round of this year’s U.S. Open.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.
Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.
She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.
Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”
The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”