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Haase To Meet Monaco In Gstaad SFs

Gstaad, Switzerland

Haase© Christian Pfander/Fresh FocusRobin Haase celebrates beating Mikhail Youzhny on Friday in the quarter-finals.

Robin Haase avenged his 2013 final loss to Mikhail Youzhny on Friday at the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. It denied Youzhny the 450th match win of his career (449-328).

Haase saved six of nine break points to book a spot in his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the year (also BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy) with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over the defending champion in just under two hours.

"Until 5-2 in the third set, I felt good," said Haase. "But two net cord winners, one unbelievable backhand smash from him [changed things]. At 5-4, 40/0, you think it is done. I double faulted and lost my rhythm. I knew I could beat him. Compared to last year’s match, it was very good."

Juan Monaco, who has dropped outside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in eight years, will face Haase on Saturday. The pair is tied at 2-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Monaco defeated two-time former champion Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(1), 6-1 in just over 90 minutes for a place in his first ATP World Tour semi-final in 12 months. He reached the last four at last season's bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel (l. to Granollers).

Pablo Andujar later knocked out second seed and fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, the 2011 titlist, 7-5, 6-3.

Verdasco overcame wild card Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-1 in his second match of the day. Verdasco led 4-0 in the second set tie-break, before Troicki staged a dramatic comeback. The Spaniard had earlier beaten Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in the second round. The pair had resumed at 1-1 in the third set.

"This morning, I tried to win and finish it in a good way," said Verdasco. "I hit the ball better. He (Struff) served really well. This afternoon, I played much better [against Troicki]. I played, I think, my best level. It was hard, mentally, to lose the tie-break. I went to the toilet and screamed at myself. I think it helped, as I re-started calmly and played as I did in the first set. He served really well."

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Third Seeds Advance To SFs
Third seeds Andre Begemann and Haase beat Philipp Marx and Blaz Rola 6-1, 6-4 in 49 minutes for a place in the semi-finals. Rameez Junaid and Michal Mertinak held their nerve to edge past fourth seeds Johan Brunstrom and Nicholas Monroe 7-6(5), 3-6, 14-12.

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