Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald will be at Center Court at the Classic on Friday.
Marcus Daniell is the last New Zealander left in this year’s ASB Classic.
Daniell and fellow Austrian Philipp Oswald defeated Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Germany’s Tum Puetz 4-6 6-1 10-7 in the intimate Court Tribune on Thursday to move to the semifinals.
This is the fourth time Daniell reaches at least the semifinals of the Classic, while in 2010 he won with Horia Tecau.
Defeating Puetz and Nielsen was a significant victory for Daniell and Oswald, as their opponents knocked out second seeded Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares in the first round.
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“Those guys from the first game pressed,” Daniell said about Puetz and Nielsen.
“We were suddenly caught in the first game and then endured quite well for the rest of the set.”
“I thought we had a bit of bad luck in a call at our break point opportunity, to return in that first set.”
“Then, in that second set, I felt that we really stepped up and went to another team in the return games and escaped with him.”
“In the super tiebreaker, it’s a game of anyone and with the local fans and the energy they provide, we were able to get a little passion out of them.”
Earlier on Thursday, Artem Sitak retired from the doubles, while Michael Venus lost in the first round.
Daniell and Oswald will play the second game on the central court on Friday, against Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor, and Daniell knows he will raise the New Zealand tennis flag.
“It is a privilege,” he said.
“We can only play at home once in a touring event, so in order to play at home and have the crowd behind us for once a year, I will simply run with that.”
“I’ve had some amazing memories here in the past and I just want to keep making memories.”
“I don’t see it as pressure, I see it more as something that gives energy.”
Oswald was also delighted with the victory and considered it a real victory, instead of the game they had on Wednesday.
In that game, Fabio Fognini clearly did not bother to play and withdrew after losing the first set and with a score of 1-1 in the second.
“We are very happy with the victory because it felt like the first game of the season,” Oswald said.
“Yesterday against the Italians (Fognini and Simone Bolelli), it was not a real match.
“The other boys (Puetz and Nielsen) played semifinals last week in Doha, so it’s a good victory for us.”
Oswald feels that he makes a good team with Daniell and is not something he wants to break.
“We have the same idea about doubles,” he said.
“We are both loyal, because in this tour with the classification structure, the boys change too often. We have a good team spirit and good energy and I think we have a bright future ahead.”