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Gasquet reaches Open Sud de France semis

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MONTPELLIER, France — Two-time defending champion Richard Gasquet of France beat big-serving countryman Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Open Sud de France on Friday.

De Schepper, a left-handed player ranked 162, had 16 aces. But he also proved vulnerable on his serve, conceding 22 break points, with Gasquet converting five.

The third-seeded Gasquet next faces Benoit Paire and holds a 3-0 record against his countryman in their career meetings.

Paire advanced after Germany’s Dustin Brown retired early into their quarterfinal. Paire had broken Brown’s serve for a 1-0 lead.

Later Friday, second seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France was facing Russian Daniil Medvedev and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy took on 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev.

Andy Murray losses to Thiem in Barcelona Open semifinals

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BARCELONA, Spain — World No. 1 Andy Murray lost to Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the Barcelona Open semifinals on Saturday.

Murray’s defeat came a week after he exited the third round at Monte Carlo. That loss prompted Murray to enter Barcelona to whip up some form for the French Open following a right elbow injury.

Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal played Horacio Zeballaos of Argentina in the other semifinal later Saturday.

Thiem started strong, breaking Murray’s first two service games before adding a third break en route to taking the first set.

The ninth-ranked Thiem had a break point in the second set, but Murray held serve and broke him back to even the match at a set apiece.

Murray was again in trouble at 4-2 down in the decisive set, and folded when he failed to successfully return Thiem’s deep lob on match point.

It was Thiem’s first win in three meetings against Murray.

Sharapova’s return ends in semis at Porsche Grand Prix

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STUTTGART, Germany — Maria Sharapova’s first tournament since her controversial return to tennis is over after losing to Kristina Mladenovic of France in the Porsche Grand Prix semifinals.

Mladenovic beat former top-ranked Sharapova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Saturday.

In her fourth match following a 15-month doping ban, the Russian was left to rue missing 13 of her 16 break-point opportunities as Mladenovic rallied to win in 2 hours, 38 minutes.

The 19th-ranked Mladenovic, who ousted two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber on Thursday, next plays the winner of the other semifinal between fourth-seeded Simona Halep and last year’s runner-up Laura Siegemund.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, who tested positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian Open, had been given a wild card to enter the Stuttgart event after losing her ranking because of the ban.