Three Australians to challenge Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the Launceston International final

DESPERATION: Spain's Marcel Granollers lunges to make his forehand shot amid victory in Friday men's singles quarter-final at the Launceston International. Picture: Phillip Biggs.
DESPERATION: Spain's Marcel Granollers lunges to make his forehand shot amid victory in Friday men's singles quarter-final at the Launceston International. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

A top-seeded Spaniard stands in the way of a certain Australian winner in the 2018 Launceston International men’s final for the second time in its short history.

Marcel Granollers had to battle hard to advance into the semi-finals, the 31-year-old Barcelonian fighting back from a second-set loss to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 over American Alexander Sarkissian.

But its remaining wildcard Andrew Harris that has continue his brilliant run during Friday’s quarter-finals.

The Melbourne 22-year-old – currently ranked at a career-high 439 in the world – showed no fear in disposing of seventh seed Jason Kulber, of Brisbane, 6-4, 7-5.

Powerful South Australian Brad Mousley was equally as impressive to knock out No.3 seed Kevin King, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3.

Mousley has now blasted 42 aces in three matches – 10 more aces than any other player at the Launceston International – but still had to outlast the Californian over two hours and 13 minutes.

HEAD DOWN: Alexander Sarkissian amid his loss against top-seed Marcel Granollers.

HEAD DOWN: Alexander Sarkissian amid his loss against top-seed Marcel Granollers.

Marc Polmans is the third Australian through to the last four in the men’s draw, the first time he has achieved the feat in three visits.

The South-African born talent, who is currently ranked 301 in the world, won 6-4, 6-3 over Dayne Kelly.

Unseeded Brit Gabriella Taylor caused a major women’s boilover against fifth-seed Myrtille Georges.

The 19-year-old only broke her French opponent’s serve twice to record a sweet 6-4, 6-4 quarter-final win.

Second seed Russian Irina Khromacheva and fourth seed American Asia Muhammad cruised into the last four in straight-set victories.

Khromacheva, whose world ranking peaked at 86, defeated Melbourne-born Brit Laura Robson 6-2, 6-2.

The 26-year-old Muhammad won through with an identical scoreline over Sydneysider Alexandra Bozovic.

Rising Ballarat youngster Zoe Hives continued her terrific start to 2018, reaching back-to-back semi-finals at Burnie and Launceston.

The 21-year-old, coming off the back of her second win in a week over one-time Swiss great Paddy Schnyder, was too strong for tenacious Shuko Aoyama, of Japan, in a mighty 6-4, 6-3 triumph.

Australian pair Jessica Moore and Ellen Perez claimed the first title of the tournament over Russian Valeria Savinykh and Robson.

The women’s doubles second seeds won five of the last seven games to power away from the top seeds 7-6, 6-4. 

Moore and Perez proved in sync at the net and punished their opponents with dominating ground strokes.

But Perez paid special tribute to her 105th-ranked doubles player in the world.

“We’ve had our fair share of playing together and it’s nice to have a partner regularly,” Perez said. “I think she is serving up quite well, so it’s making my job a lot easier.”