Third-seeded Andreas Seppi and Aussie crowd favorite Bernard Tomic were a pair of quarterfinal winners Thursday at the Sydney International tennis event, a final Australian Open tune-up.
The Italian Seppi handled eighth-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-5, while the 20-year-old Tomic overcame Finnish veteran and defending Sydney champion Jarkko Nieminen 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-2 at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Nieminen, who also had a runner-up finish here in 2009, beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau in last year's Sydney finale.
Seppi and Tomic, the youngest player in the top 100, will decide one of Saturday's finalists in Friday's semifinals.
"I'm really happy with today's performance and how I played," Tomic said after beating Nieminen. "But I'm ready to go for tomorrow's semifinal. I'm really confident now, and I got a shot to get into the final for the first time in my career."
The other semi will pit Benneteau against tall South African Kevin Anderson. Benneteau bested American qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, while Anderson erased Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-3.