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Almagro Wins Twice, Moves To Swiss Semis

GSTAAD, Switzerland, July 29 (UPI) — Top-seeded and defending champion Nicolas Almagro won two matches Friday in claiming a semifinal berth at the Swiss Open tennis tournament.

Almagro’s second-round match Thursday was suspended because of rain after five games so he led off Friday’s play with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Jarkko Nieminen to earn the right to play a quarterfinals match.

He went against fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, seeded fifth this week, in the quarterfinals, winning 6-4, 7-5 while showing little sign of fatigue. He won 80 percent of the points on serve, losing 12 points over 11 service games and not dropping serve.

Eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers needed just 70 minutes to oust local favorite and No. 2-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2. Granollers faced only one break point and piled up five breaks in nine receiving games.

He’ll next go against third-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who was pushed to a third set before getting past Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Youzhny won just one more point (34-33) than Haider-Maurer in the third set but had the set’s only break.

No. 4-seeded Fernando Verdasco also went the distance before topping Julien Benneteau 6-4, 5-7 6-1. He won 63 percent of the points in the third set.

Verdasco draws Almagro in Saturday’s semifinals.

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