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Berdych To Face Simon In Semis; Gasquet Advances

Bangkok, Thailand

Simon© AFP/Getty ImagesSimon won the Thailand Open in 2009.

Top seed Tomas Berdych will face fourth Gilles Simon in the Thailand Open semi-finals after defeating Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6(7), 6-4 on Friday in Bangkok. The Czech hit 20 aces and broke serve twice to prevail in one hour and 50 minutes.

Berdych will look to overturn a 2-5 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Simon, having lost their past three meetings, all on hard court. "I don't have a positive record against [Simon]. All of the matches were quite close," shared the Czech after his victory. "I'll try to serve well. My serve is so far helping me a lot. My game is based on serve. It’s what I will try to focus on tomorrow." 

The 28 year old is looking to win his first ATP World Tour title of the season this week; he is the only member of the Top 10 not to have won a title in 2013. 

Berdych will contest the Bangkok semi-finals for the third time (2007-08) and is looking for a good showing this week to boost his bid to qualify for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The right-hander is currently fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London, with the Top 8 guaranteeing their spots in London.

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Simon is on track for his second singles title in as many weeks after dismissing Igor Sijsling 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the quarter-finals. Sijsling, from the Netherlands, survived an all-Dutch clash with Robin Haase in the previous round, but could not eke out another three-set victory against Simon in his sixth ATP World Tour quarter-final.

“It was a very tough match for me. Igor was playing very good and with a very nice serve. He was moving well," shared Simon, who needed a medical time-out for his back. "I think I could have lost the two sets I won. It was very close every time. It was a good win.”

Simon is marching through the Thailand Open singles draw in the wake of winning his first title of 2013 at last week’s Moselle Open (d. Tsonga). The Frenchman also took the Thailand Open title in 2009 (d. Troicki).

Berdych's fellow Final Showdown contender, Richard Gasquet, also reached the semi-finals. The second-seeded Frenchman finished strongly to defeat Mikhail Youzhny 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in just under two hours.

Gasquet is the defending champion in Bangkok, having beat Simon in the 2012 final, and is chasing his third ATP World Tour title of the season. The right-hander is coming off his second Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open (l. to Nadal) and is currently ninth in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

In a semi-final match that will impact the battle for qualification spots in London, Gasquet will play 11th placed Milos Raonic in the semi-finals. The Canadian, who trails Gasquet by 590 points, will not want to lose further ground to the Frenchman by taking a loss to his rival. On Friday Raonic put a stunning 86 percent of first serves into play, including 19 aces, in a 6-4, 6-3 win over sixth-seed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

It is the fourth time this year that the top four seeds have reached the semi-finals, and the first since Dubai in early March.

Murray/Peers Reach Third Final

Third seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers reached their third ATP World Tour final of the season as they defeated second seeds Leander Paes and Daniele Bracciali 6-3, 6-4. The British/Australian duo are looking to add to their titles at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston (d. Bryans) and the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad (d. Andujar/Garcia-Lopez) and won 78 per cent of their service points as they won the semi-final in 64 minutes.

Murray is through to the Bangkok final for the second time, having finished runner-up with Andy Murray n 2006 (l. to Erlich/Ram).

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