Benneteau stuns Wawrinka to reach semi-finals

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 15, 2014, 23:58 PM IST

Cincinnati: France`s Julien Benneteau won 12 of the last 15 games to stun Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 in Cincinnati on Friday and reach the first Masters semi-final of his career.

Benneteau, ranked 41st in the world, fired nine aces and broke the third-seeded Swiss four times in the 80-minute contest.

After sweeping through the first set in 27 minutes, Wawrinka could find no answer. Benneteau broke for a 2-0 lead in the second set and rolled from there.

He finished off the victory with an ace on the first of two match points.

Benneteau next faces either sixth-seeded David Ferrer or fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo -- who dispatched world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round.

Benneteau is making his ninth appearance in Cincinnati, a key tune-up event for the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year that starts on August 25.

His previous best showing was a quarter-final in 2009.

He now stands 14-43 against top 10 opponents and 2-2 this season against the elite after beating Toronto Masters champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells.