Australian Smith into first ATP semi-final

AP – Little-known Australian John-Patrick Smith’s run in Rhode Island has continued with a hard-fought quarter-final win at the Hall of Fame championships.

The 26-year-old world No.156 beat Japan’s Tatsuma Ito 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 on Thursday on the Newport grass to advance to his first ATP semi-final.

Smith will face American Rajeev Ram, who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2), for a place in the final.

Smith, who spends time training in the United States at the University of Tennessee, upset compatriot Bernard Tomic in the first round.

On the other side of the draw, Germany’s Dustin Brown beat sixth-seeded Sam Querrey 6-2 4-6 6-4 to complete a rain-delayed match from Wednesday and advance to the quarter-finals.

Brown will go up against Ivo Karlovic while American Jack Sock will battle Czech Jan Hernych.

Brown upset Rafael Nadal earlier this month in the second round at Wimbledon.

On Wednesday, he led 4-3 in the final set and was up 15-love when play was halted because of rain. When play resumed, Brown held serve and closed the eighth game with consecutive aces. He won when his American opponent hit a backhand return long.

Brown, who entered the week ranked 80th, knew he needed a fast start when play resumed.

“This is a match that if you put seven first serves in, the match can be over,” Brown said.

“I did the normal warmup and right when I saw that the (doubles) match was about to finish, I did another 20, 30 serves just so my arm was warm and ready to go straight on court.”

Fresh off his success at Wimbledon, Brown has become a popular player this week, but hasn’t seen people trying to bother him much more.

“Once you’re at a tournament with my looks and my hair, it’s kind of hard to hide,” said Brown of his long dreadlocks. “It’s hard to say if it’s more or less after last week at Wimbledon. I can still go to the grocery store without people (bothering) me.”

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