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Verdasco, Cilic, Dolgopolov Advance To Umag SFs

Umag, Croatia

Dolgopolov© ATP Vegeta Croatia Open UmagDefending champion Alexandr Dologpolov beat Carlos Berlocq to reach the semi-finals.

The top two seeds at the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag remained on a final collision course Friday, as Fernando Verdasco and Marin Cilic both advanced to the semi-finals with straight set victories.

Verdasco dismissed wild card Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 25 minutes. The 2008 champion won 80 per cent of his first serve points and saved all six break points he faced to reach his fourth semi-final of the season.

The Spaniard is looking to win his first title in over two years, having last triumphed at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2010. He will face fourth-seeded countryman Marcel Granollers next. Granollers overcame a slow start to rally past Matthias Bachinger 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes, converting two of nine break points in the final set.

Granollers won his only previous meeting against Verdasco, claiming a three-set win in last year’s Gstaad final.

Home favourite Cilic eased past Wayne Odesnik 6-4, 6-0 to move within two matches of winning his third title on home soil and first in Umag. Cilic won 58 per cent of his return points to break the American five times in the one-hour-and-32-minute victory.

The Croat has won 10 of his past 11 matches, highlighted by winning his first grass-court title at the AEGON Championships. In the semi-finals, Cilic will clash with defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov in a rematch of last year’s final. The No. 3 seed defeated fifth-seeded Carlos Bercloq 6-4, 6-4, winning 24 of his 28 first serve points to seal the win in 84 minutes.

Dolgopolov improved to an 18-14 season record, and is aiming to reach his second final of the year, after finishing runner-up to Andy Murray in Brisbane.

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© Neven Gerencir

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