Pera upset, Ruud advances at Hamburg Open

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HAMBURG, Germany — Bernarda Pera, the defending champion at the Hamburg European Open, was upset Thursday by Russian Diana Shnaider.

After dropping the first set to Shnaider 1-6, Pera was able to get on track in the second, breaking Shnaider twice en route to taking the set 6-2.

But Shnaider again turned the tables, holding off the game Pera in the third, 6-4, to seal the upset victory.

Shnaider will face up-and-coming German Noma Noha Akugue next, after the 19-year old advanced to the semifinals in her first WTA Tour event.

Noha Akugue is making a big impression in her first WTA Tour main draw after getting a wild card. Noha Akugue, who was born in the Hamburg suburbs, was in tears after she booked her place in the semifinals with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win over Martina Trevisan.

Daria Saville reached her first tour semifinal after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury as she won 6-3, 6-2 against Jule Niemeier. The Australian next plays the highest-ranked player left in the draw, seventh-seeded Arantxa Rus, who beat Eva Lys 6-2, 6-2.

On the men’s side, top-seed Casper Ruud fought back after being “destroyed” in the first set to beat Cristian Garin at the clay-court Hamburg European Open on Thursday, while Daniel Altmaier upset Andrey Rublev in the second round.

French Open runner-up Ruud came back to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinals in a match that proved far more difficult than the world rankings would suggest.

Ruud is ranked fourth and Garin 120th, but the Chilean qualifier won five career titles on clay before recent struggles with form and injury, and had won three of his four previous matches against Ruud. The first set was all Garin, who broke Ruud in the opening game, but a break of serve for Ruud at 2-2 in the second allowed the Norwegian a path back into the match.

“I was destroyed in the first set, didn’t really have anything to challenge his game,” Ruud said. “I’m very happy that I stuck (with it) and fought all the way to the end.”

Ruud’s quarterfinal opponent is 19-year-old French player Arthur Fils.

Second-seeded Rublev was upset 6-2, 6-2 by Altmaier in a match lasting just 75 minutes. Altmaier will face Zhang Zhicheng for a place in the semifinals.

Last year’s Hamburg winner Lorenzo Musetti completed a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Jozef Kovalik in a match that had been suspended Wednesday part-way through the second set.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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