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Djokovic wins, then poses for selfie with his opponent

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) After Novak Djokovic won his second-round match at the Qatar Open, his opponent asked him to pose for a selfie.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion cheerfully obliged.

“I just have to mention that making a selfie after the match was over, that was the first time that I ever had this kind of experience in my career,” Djokovic said on court after beating Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday. “So, Horacio, well done. Very original.”

Djokovic managed to break the Argentine once in each set while never facing a break point on the other side.

“Credit to Zeballos for playing some fearless tennis,” said Djokovic, the defending champion. “He was stepping in and trying to go for his shots. He wasn’t backing up to the baseline.”

With the win, the second-seeded Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals and will next face Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic.

Stepanek defeated wild-card entry Arthur De Greef of Belgium 6-3, 6-2. The 38-year-old Stepanek is the oldest ATP Tour quarterfinalist since 42-year-old Jimmy Connors reached the final eight at the 1995 Halle tournament.

Also, Fernando Verdasco needed six match points, three in the second set tiebreaker, to beat fourth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-1, 7-6 (6).

Federer again pushed hard, advances to Halle semifinals

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer defeated Matthew Ebden 7-6 (2), 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open on Friday.

Federer was made to work hard by Ebden, who saved five of the eight break points he faced and was leading 5-3 in the second set.

Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round the day before, recovered to go 6-5 up and then broke Ebden to take his first match point for a meeting with American qualifier Denis Kudla.

Kudla earlier defeated Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 7-5 to book his semifinal place.

Federer, who won his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart on Sunday, is just three match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 19 including the Stuttgart title and last year’s titles in Halle and Wimbledon. He is bidding for a record-extending 10th trophy in Halle.

Federer survives scare to advance in Halle

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer survived two match points against Benoit Paire to reach the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win on Thursday.

Paire rallied after losing the first set to take the second, and the Frenchman defended two match points at 6-5 in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Eight minutes later, it was a match point for the 48th-ranked Paire, and again when a mistake from Federer left it 7-6 in Paire’s favor.

But the top-ranked Swiss took the next three points to close the match in just under two hours at the grass-court tournament.

Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 18 matches, including his titles in Stuttgart last week and at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row and is now just four wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

Federer next faces Matthew Ebden of Australia, who upset former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Also Thursday, Borna Coric defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The Croat next faces either Florian Mayer or Andreas Seppi.