Latvia's Ernests Gulbis eliminated Argentine Juan Martin del Potro from the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, hitting 12 aces in a 6-3, 6-4 victory in Friday's quarterfinals, while Scotland's Andy Murray was upset by Marin Cilic.
Gulbis got revenge for his round-of-16 loss in last year's edition of this Dutch indoor hard-court event to Del Potro, who went on to win the title.
The top-seeded Argentine, who lost in the 2012 final to Swiss great Roger Federer, made little impression on Gulbis' service games throughout the 1 hour and 21 minute match, creating just one break point in the contest and failing to convert it.
The Latvian, by contrast, was a much bigger threat on return and won an impressively high 62 percent of the points when Del Potro, one of tennis' best baseliners, missed his first serve.
He created a total of nine break-point opportunities throughout the match and converted two of those chances.
"My ambition this year is to reach the Top 10 (of the ATP rankings)," Gulbis, the world No. 24, was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour site.
"It is a big goal. I did well (last year) in the (ATP World Tour) 250s, winning two titles, but I need to do better in the Masters 1000s and go deeper in the Grand Slams."
Next up for Gulbis in the semifinals will be third-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, who defeated big-serving Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-7 (9-11), 6-2, 6-4.
In the other two quarterfinal matches Friday, Cilic earned a surprisingly routine 6-3, 6-4 victory over the second-seeded Murray and will next square off against surprise Dutch semifinalist Igor Sijsling, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 winner over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The big-serving Croat continued the strong form he showed in winning his 10th career singles title at last week's PBZ Zagreb Indoors event.
"It's a great feeling," Cilic said. "I needed to start well and serve well. At the beginning of the match I got off to a good start, 3-0. Andy made a few more unforced errors than usual, but I think it is a great victory for me. Eight wins in a row now and I am looking forward to the semifinals." EFE