Verdasco wins rematch to advance in Swedish Open

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[July 22, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

Fernando Verdasco won a rematch with fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas by getting a 6-3, 6-2 victory Friday in the quarterfinals of the Swedish Open in Bastad, Sweden.

In a rematch of last year's final, sixth-seeded Verdasco cruised into the semifinals by using an effective forehand to dictate play against the No. 2 seed Ramos-Vinolas throughout the 84-minute match.

"I played one of my best matches of the year," Verdasco. "I was very solid with my serve the whole match and had chances in most return games."

Verdasco advanced to his third semifinal of the season and will face eighth-seeded compatriot David Ferrer, who beat Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in two hours, 14 minutes.

Ferrer, who won this event in 2007 and 2012 is 24-7 in Bastad and reached his second semifinal of the season.

"I think my experience was the key in the tie-break," Ferrer said. "I tried to fight on the important points."

Verdasco and Ferrer are meeting for the 21st time. Ferrer holds a 13-7 lead.

Verdasco dropped one point through the first three games and took a 3-2 lead in the first set with an ace right down the middle. Ramos-Vinolas notched a forehand winner down the line to tie the first set but Verdasco clinched the first set with a forehand.

Verdasco then dominated on first serves and easily breezed through the second set while dealing with rainy conditions.

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Alexandr Dolgopolov also advanced to the semifinals after needing two hours to beat fifthseeded Karen Khachanov 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (2). Dolgopolov withstood 20 aces and will face Andrey Kuznetsov.

"He was serving at 3-0 (in the third set) with a double break and my leg was troubling me a bit on serve," Dolgopolov said.

Dolgopolov advanced to his first semifinal since winning the title in Buenos Aries last spring.

Kuzenetsov advanced to his third semifinal after sweeping past seventh-seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3 in 66 minutes.

"It was a good day for me. I played my best tennis so far this tournament. In these conditions it wasn't easy but I think I chose the right tactics and it was working. I didn't make a lot of mistakes," said Kuznetsov, who is looking to reach his first ATP World Tour final.

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