Robert Kendrick continues surprising run

March 7, 2003 at 11:08 PM

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., March 7 (UPI) -- American qualifier Robert Kendrick continued his remarkable run at the International Tennis Championship Friday with another straight-sets victory.

Just three days after claiming his first ATP Tour match victory at the hardcourt event, Kendrick posted 6-0, 6-4 victory over Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus to reach his first semifinal.

"It's a great win and I wasn't too nervous out there," Kendrick said. "I had a few opportunities at the beginning of the second set where I had the chance to go up 2-0 and blew it. That was a little disappointing, but I'm happy to get the win."

The 23-year-old Floridian got through qualifying and will play in the doubles semifinals, yet does not feel fatigued.

"Physically, I feel good," Kendrick said. "Doubles has helped loosen me up during the week. Paul (Goldstein) and I talk a lot out there and just have fun. My body is holding up pretty well. (ATP trainer) Bill Norris has been a big help in stretching my legs out."

Kendrick lost his first ATP match of the season at Auckland but reached the semifinals at a Challenger event in Dallas last month. Last year, he won a Futures tournament in Tampa Bay and a Challenger event in Tulsa.

On Saturday, Kendrick will face countryman Jan-Michael Gambill. The fourth seed advanced to the semifinals for the third straight year with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 triumph over Brazil's Flavio Saretta.

Gambill, the 2001 champion, rallied from a set down and Saretta serving for the match to push the second set to a tiebreaker. After winning the second set, he rolled through the third to improve to 11-2 lifetime at Delray Beach.

"I started dictating points better and starting making less errors," Gambill said. "When you're down 5-4 and the guy's serving for the match, you got to do things better."

After losing in the second round at his prevous four tournaments, Gambill reached his first semifinal since a runner-up finish at the Qatar Open to start the season.

Saturday's other semifinal pits third seed Marcelo Rios of Chile and Mardy Fish of the United States.

Rios, who accepted a wild card to play here, posted a 6-3, 6-4 win against Hyung-Taik Lee of Korea. He won the final three games of the second set to move into his second semifinal of the season.

Fish beat Spain's Alberto Martin, 6-3, 6-3, in 77 minutes to advance to his first career ATP semifinal. The 21-year-old American reached the quarterfianls in Sydney in January and Memphis last month.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch out for MNF
New York Yankees get wild-card home field despite loss
Atlanta Falcons: 3 things we learned after Week 4 rout of Houston Texans
ACC football weekend review: Clemson Tigers hold off Notre Dame, earn national respect