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Ferrer, Gasquet Into Doha SFs; Brands Ousts Monfils

Doha, Qatar

Brands© AFP/Getty ImagesQualifier Daniel Brands defeated Gael Monfils to reach the semi-finals.

Top-seeded David Ferrer continued to impress at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Thursday in Doha, dispatching Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-0 in the quarter-finals.

Ferrer was never tested on serve and broke the Italian four times to move through in 62 minutes. The two were meeting for the first time.

“Maybe yesterday was similar to tonight, and I played good,” said Ferrer. “In the second set, I played more aggressive with my game. It’s never easy to play [well] the first week of the season.”

Ferrer, ranked fifth in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is looking to become the first Spaniard to win this tournament. Last year, he enjoyed a career-best season, leading the ATP World Tour with seven titles and 76 match wins. On Friday, Ferrer will take on 2010 champion Nikolay Davydenko in the semi-finals.

Davydenko needed just 50 minutes to defeat Simone Bolelli 6-1, 6-1. The Russian capitalised on all five of his break points and won 75 percent of his first serve return points to remain undefeated against Bolelli in their four meetings.

World No. 10 Richard Gasquet advanced to the semi-finals, dismissing Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-3. The second seed won 55 percent of his return points, breaking the Slovakian five times. Gasquet sealed the victory in 71 minutes to defeat Lacko for the second time.

“I returned better and served better than yesterday. It's a good match for me,” said Gasquet. “I'm happy. I feel more confident than yesterday. It's a good win for me.”

The Frenchman, who recorded his 300th match win in the second round, is aiming to win his eighth ATP World Tour title. He will face Daniel Brands for a place in the final.

The 153th-ranked Brands reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final since October 2011 as he defeated France’s Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5. The German qualifier, who had upset  fifth seed Jeremy Chardy in the first round, broke serve four times to knock out former World No. 7 Monfils in 63 minutes.

“I had three matches in the quallies, which were also not so easy,” said Brands. “If you win the matches, you get confidence. That's very important for me. I can't believe it right now. If I have confidence and I feel good, then I can play like today. I hope I can keep on playing like this in my next match tomorrow and let's see what happens.”

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