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Coetzee makes Croatia semis

By Mark Etheridge

Our doubles star Jeff Coetzee and his Scottish partner Jamie Murray reached the semi-finals of the Studena Open tennis tournament in Umag, Croatia at the weekend.

After beating Italians Simone Bolelli and Potito Starace 6-2 6-3 in the second round, they came up against the second-seeded combination of Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak in the semi-finals.

They went down 7-5 6-3 to the Czech Republic/Slovakian combination. They in turn lost the final to the unseeded pair of Leos Friedl and Filip Polasek, going down 6-3 7-6.

Coetzee, who delayed his departure from South Africa to Europe after suffering from a troublesome hamstring injury, picked up $US 3,075 for his efforts in Croatia and will be pleased that they got to the semis without dropping a set.

“It was great to make the semi’s while not feeling 100%,” said Coetzee on Monday. “It was also nice to get some matches in after a four-week break. They played well to win the semi. We were up a break early in the first but could not carry on the momentum. Now I’m in Kitzbuhel, Austria to play a challenge event this week… a very nice place (ski resort) up in the mountains so looking very forward to it.”

Coetzee and Murray are seeded third in the Austrian Open at Kitzbuhel and will come up against Austrians Gerald Melzer and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn. “It’ll be tough but it’s always nice to play locals at home, makes you fired up even more.”

“The hamstring was so-so after yesterday’s 10-hour travels. I was actually told to take two to three weeks off to get completely better but it’s so tough to do. And next week there’s a bit Challenger in Istanbul so I just hope it holds up.”