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Top seed Murray overcomes slow start to beat Simon in Vienna

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VIENNA (AP) Top-seeded Andy Murray overcame a slow start against Gilles Simon of France before winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and advancing to his 13th quarterfinal of the season at the Erste Bank Open on Thursday.

The Scot, who improved to 16-2 against Simon in their career matches, clinched his 12th straight win of the season after taking back-to-back titles in Beijing and at the Shanghai Masters, where he beat Simon in the semifinals.

Murray broke Simon in the opening game of the match, but then struggled for rhythm as he dropped his first two service games.

The second-ranked Scot broke back when Simon missed a set point and failed to serve out the set at 5-3, but then lost his own serve for a third time.

Murray held off six break points early in the second set and finally looked to settle when he reeled off four straight games to level the match. From 2-2 in the final set, he did the same to close out the match.

Murray, who is 11-1 in quarterfinals this season, takes on John Isner for a place in Saturday’s semifinals.

Earlier, Viktor Troicki advanced to his seventh quarterfinal of the season by defeating third-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-2, 7-5.

Troicki, from Serbia, held serve throughout against the ninth-ranked Austrian but needed to save seven break points in the second set.

The 28th-ranked Troicki will next play Spain’s David Ferrer, the defending champion, or Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Also, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from 5-3 behind and saved a set point for Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening set before beating him 7-6 (6), 6-2. The sixth-seeded Frenchman, who won the event five years ago, improved to 10-1 against Kohlschreiber.

Tsonga next plays Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who was a break down in the second set but won nine consecutive games to defeat Austria’s Jurgen Melzer, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

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STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Roger Federer defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3) to mark his return from three months off with the Stuttgart Open title on Sunday.

The Swiss great, who is assured of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal on Monday, broke at 1-1 in the opening set and held his nerve in the second, where Raonic double-faulted.

Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row, but he wrapped up his 18th grass-court title in 1 hour and 18 minutes – his 98th title overall and third of the season after victories at the Australian Open and World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

“It’s a wonderful feeling. I fought hard. When you finally manage it, the joy is even greater,” said Federer, who extended his grass-court winning streak to 16 matches including his titles at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

The 36-year-old will need to defend his title at Halle to maintain his No. 1 spot ahead of Wimbledon.

Andy Murray to make long-awaited return at Queen’s

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LONDON (AP) Andy Murray has confirmed he will make his return to competitive tennis at the Queen’s Club tournament next week after almost a year out injured and faces Nick Kyrgios in his opening match.

The three-time major winner has not played since last year’s Wimbledon due to a hip injury and subsequent surgery.

Murray practiced at Queen’s on Friday ahead of next week’s grass-court Fever-Tree Championships, delayed a decision until Saturday and then told tournament officials he would be there.

“Andy Murray has confirmed that he will play,” the tournament said on its official Twitter account.

Murray has a good record against 24th-ranked Kyrgios, winning all five of their meetings.

French Open champion Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from Queen’s in an attempt to be ready for Wimbledon.

Queen’s is one of the main warmup tournaments for Wimbledon, which begins on July 2.