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Murray, Djokovic advance in Cincinnati

BRITAIN'S ANDY MURRAY got all he could handle from Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the Western & Southern Open but managed to eke out a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to advance to the semifinals in Cincinnati.

Murray, a two-time champion at this hard-court event, played outside Cincinnati, Ohio, started sluggishly but seemed to take full command when he ran away with the second set on Friday, reports Efe.

The third set, however, was up for grabs until the No.3 seed got a crucial break in the ninth game and then served out the contest in his first opportunity.

The Scotsman, who won last week's Montreal event, will take an eight-match winning streak into Saturday's semi-final against either second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer, a six-time Cincinnati champion, or Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who upset countryman Rafael Nadal on Thursday night.

Saturday's other men's semi-final will pit top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic, a 6-4, 6-1 winner Friday over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, who upset Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2.

In women's action Friday in Cincinnati, top-seeded American Serena Williams topped Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a semifinal clash against Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 winner over Czech Lucie Safarova.

The Western & Southern Open is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP and WTA calendars and a key tune-up for the U.S. Open, which gets underway on August 31.

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