11 Jan 2019

Upsets mean no seeded players in ASB Classic semi-finals

5:38 am on 11 January 2019

The ASB Classic has been stripped of all its seeded players as Fabio Fognini and Pablo Carreno Busta both crashed out in the quarter-finals in Auckland.

Philipp Kohlschreiber from Germany during the ASB Classic.


Former Classic champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany beat second seed Fognini of Italy in straight sets 6-3 6-1. Fognini was the highest seed remaining in the tournament - a label Kohlschreiber has taken leading into the semi-finals.

Fognini's frustration, much like his throwing of the racquet the day before, started to show in the second set smacking the ball out of the Auckland stadium as Kohlschreiber gained a 5-1 lead proving early the German had done enough.

"I don't know what happened to Fabio, maybe he was injured or something," says Kohlschreiber

"I tried to hang in there, after that moment in the first set he dropped his level... he was more worried about himself.

"Tomorrow in the semi-final we both have a chance to win - it will be a good match."

Kohlschreiber will face American Tennys Sandgren after he upset Argentinian Leonardo Mayer 6-3 7-6.

Auckland-raised Brit Cameron Norrie pleased the homecrowd with a 7-6 6-3 win over American Taylor Fritz to reach his fourth career ATP Tour semi-final.

It's a disappointing end for the 21-year-old American though who was unable to maintain the momentum that saw him beat the big serving American John Isner earlier in the draw.

Norrie and Fritz will link up as partners at the upcoming Australian Open, and while Norrie considers Fritz a friend says he can thank an energetic Auckland crowd for getting him over the line.

Cameron Norrie from Great Britain during the ASB Classic.


"I know he serves well, solid backhand return I had to be the one that was aggressive obviously we are friends but I had to put that to the side," says Norrie

"The crowd is getting behind me especially in those tough moments... it's helping having them on my side and I feel like my opponent can feel it as well,"

"It means a lot for me and tennis in New Zealand, the juniors can see a kid from here grew up and became successful."

Norrie will play German Jan-Lennard Struff in the first semi-final, who after three hours broke a deadlock to defeat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 6-7 7-6.

New Zealand found success in the doubles with Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen through to the semi-finals after beating Argentinian Guido Pella and Portugal's Joao Sousa 7-5 6-3.

Russian-born New Zealander Artem Sitak and American partner Austin Krajicek were unable to overcome American duo Bob & Michael Ryan going down 6-7 6-2 2-10.