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Lopez Masters Misty Conditions; Simon, Seppi To Clash

Eastbourne, England

Lopez© Getty ImagesFeliciano Lopez will face Ivan Dodig in the semi-finals.

Misty conditions in Eastbourne suited Feliciano Lopez’s serve and volley game on Thursday as he beat fellow Spaniard and good friend Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6(6) to reach the semi-finals of the Aegon International. Lopez is bidding to reach his second ATP World Tour final of the season and goes on to challenge Ivan Dodig.

“I have to still play like I was playing today and the previous matches, and if I play good I will have my chances,” said Lopez, who is yet to drop a set this week. “On this surface, if I play good, I know I will have a good chance to win, but I have to play good."

Lopez, a three-time quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, hit 14 aces and saved both break points he faced as he beat Verdasco in 77 minutes to claim his 12th win of the season. “When the court is like this, it's better for my game,” said the left-hander. “That's really obvious. If the court is a little bit wet, it is good for my serve, good for my slice. I can go to the net quite a lot.”

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Dodig dismissed eighth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2 in under an hour to reach his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the year. The Croatian, who knocked out top seed Milos Raonic in the second round, has reached one grass-court final before, finishing runner-up at the Topshelf Open two years ago (l. to Tursunov). 

Former champion Andreas Seppi cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Radek Stepanek. The seventh-seeded Italian broke serve four times as he recorded his first win in five attempts against Stepanek in 73 minutes. Seppi lifted the trophy at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament in 2011 (d. Tipsarevic) and also finished runner-up last year (l. to Roddick).

To reach the final for a third straight year, he will need to overcome an 0-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Frenchman Gilles Simon. This will be their first meeting in five years.

The second-seeded Simon, an Aegon International quarter-finalist in 2006, '08 and '10, reached his first grass-court semi-final with a 7-6(8), 6-3 win over Australian Bernard Tomic

Top Seeds To Face British Duo In Final
Top seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares will face fourth-seeded British duo Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray in the doubles final.

Peya and Soares have a 2-2 record in ATP World Tour finals this year and will bid to win their sixth team title after beating Jamie Murray and John Peers 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals. The Austrian/Brazilian duo, currently second in the Emirates ATP Year-to-Date Rankings, are through to their second final in a row after finishing runners-up last week at The Queen’s Club (l. to Bryans).

Fleming and Marray reached their first final together after edging Marcin Matkowski and Frederik Nielsen 3-6, 6-3, 11-9. Marray and Nielsen combined last year to win the Wimbledon title (d. Lindstedt/Tecau). Fleming is the defending champion in Eastbourne, having won the title last year with Ross Hutchins

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