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Verdasco Reaches Bastad Semi-finals; Berlocq Upsets Ferrer

Bastad, Sweden

Bastad© SkiStar Swedish OpenFernando Verdasco is looking to reach the Bastad final for the second year in a row.

Third seed Fernando Verdasco closed on a second successive SkiStar Swedish Open final appearance Friday as he reached the semi-finals in Bastad with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

The left-hander won 71 per cent of his service points and broke Carreno Busta once in each set to claim his 17th win of the season in 88 minutes. Verdasco was runner-up at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament last year, losing to Carlos Berlocq.

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Looking to win his second ATP World Tour title of the season, having triumphed on clay in Houston (d. Almagro), the 30-year-old Verdasco goes on to face World No. 111 Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final in more than three years as he ended the run of Argentine qualifier Renzo Olivo, 6-2, 6-4 in 83 minutes.

"I am so happy, coming back to play in my first semi-final for three years,” said Cuevas, who lost to Verdasco in a close five-set contest in the Roland Garros second round in May. “I played very well today. It was a tough match; Renzo played well this week. I hope to continue playing well.”

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Defending champion Berlocq upset top seed David Ferrer, 6-3, 6-3 in 85 minutes. The Argentine broke serve five times from seven opportunities to beat Ferrer for the first time, having lost to the Spaniard three years ago in Barcelona.

Ferrer dropped to a 19-6 record at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament. The Valencia native was in the hunt for a third Bastad title, having triumphed in 2007 and 2012 (d. Almagro both times).

The 31-year-old Berlocq captured his first ATP World Tour title in Bastad last year, and went on to add a second in Oeiras in May, beating Tomas Berdych in the final. In Saturday’s semi-finals, he will face fifth seed Joao Sousa, who defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4.

The 25-year-old Sousa captured his first ATP World Tour title in Kuala Lumpur last year (d. Benneteau) and is through to his second semi-final of the season, after reaching the last four as qualifier in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Becker). 

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Chardy/Marach Reach Doubles Final
Jeremy Chardy and Oliver Marach reached their first ATP World Tour doubles final in just their second tournament together as they defeated third seeds Tomasz Bednarek and Henri Kontinen 7-5, 3-6, 11-9. They will face either top seeds David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco or fourth seeds Johan Brunstrom and Nicholas Monroe.

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