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Britain's Murray reaches St Petersburg semis

In Basel, Federer maintains his bid to win hometown tournament for 3rd straight year

Britain's Murray reaches St Petersburg semis

Top seed Andy Murray reached the St Petersburg Open semi-finals with a 7-6 7-5 win over Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic on Friday.
The Briton, who won the US$1 million tournament on his debut appearance in Russia's second city last year, remained on course for his second title in two weeks after clinching the Madrid Masters last Sunday.
Murray had to work hard to overcome a spirited challenge by his unseeded opponent.
After edging the first set on a tiebreak, which he won 7-5, the world number four broke Tipsarevic in the third game of the second set only for the 48th-ranked Serbian to break back straight away.
However, Murray was not to be denied as he secured another break in the 11th game before holding his own serve to love to close out the match after two hours and 10 minutes.
"It was a tough win," the 21-year-old Scot told reporters. "But I tried to keep myself concentrated, played every ball up to the end and it worked."
In yesterday's semi-final, he was scheduled to face third-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, whom he soundly beat in last year's final. The world number 16 defeated unseeded German Rainer Schuettler 7-5 6-2 in the earlier match on center court.
"I lost to Murray in the final last year, so this time I'm hoping for revenge," Verdasco said. "To do that I will have to be more confident in myself and use my chances."
The second semi-final will feature unseeded Romanian Victor Hanescu and Kazakh qualifier Andrey Golubev.
The 66th-ranked Hanescu eliminated local hope Michail Elgin 6-1 6-4, ending Russia's interest in the tournament.
Swiss Indoors
Roger Federer dismissed unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors on Friday to maintain his bid for a third straight triumph in his hometown tournament.
Federer's route to the final was also made easier - on paper at least - when his expected semi-final opponent, American fourth seed James Blake, suffered a 6-4 7-6 defeat by Spain's Feliciano Lopez.
Lopez, the world number 39, has lost all six of his previous meetings with Federer who has yet to face a seeded player at this week's tournament.
After stuttering performances in his first two matches this week, the world number two was in full control against Bolelli, breaking the Italian twice in the opening set.
Following a further break in the second, Bolelli did well to save three match points on his serve at 5-2 but could do nothing more as Federer took the final game to love, ending the match with two aces and a service winner.
"He's a player with a lot of potential so I had to stay alert," said the Swiss after wrapping up his first meeting with the 23-year-old from Bologna.
"I tried to vary my serve a little and it all worked well, so it was a perfect result."
Blake was understandably less upbeat after missing out on the chance to play Federer and improve his hopes of a place at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.
"I gave myself enough opportunities to win today," said the world number 11 who failed to convert any of the eight break points he carved out against Lopez on Friday.
"But you always have to make the big points and I didn't do that today. Whether I get to Shanghai depends on how I do in Paris next week but I won't lose any sleep if I don't make it."


Updated : 2021-05-15 17:45 GMT+08:00