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Cilic beats Muller to set up quarterfinal against Querrey

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LONDON — Top-seeded Marin Cilic set up a quarterfinal with Sam Querrey after coming from a set down to beat Gilles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at Queen’s Club on Wednesday.

Cilic was the losing finalist in the grass-court tournament and at Wimbledon in 2017.

“It was not easy, he (Muller) broke me in the beginning of the match and served out the first set,” said Cilic, who is a genuine threat on grass.

“I managed to keep my composure and managed to serve well … It’s last year’s form, it continued this year, grass suits me greatly for my game, my shots hitting flat and deep through the court and serving well.”

Cilic was champion in 2012 at Queen’s Club and runner-up also in 2013. He came close at Wimbledon last year, losing to Roger Federer after suffering from bad blisters in the final.

Fifth-seeded Querrey, the winner here in 2010, beat Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-1.

The big-serving American won in just under two hours against Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam singles champion.

The first two sets were even, but Querrey ran away with the decider to set up a meeting with Cilic at the Wimbledon warmup tournament.

Wawrinka is yet to find his top form after a double knee operation but said he must be patient.

“For sure, I’m sad and frustrated because I need to win matches, I want to win matches and I want more. That’s for sure,” the Swiss said.

“But there is a lot to take in the right way, and I’m sure if I can, as I say, keep doing the right things day by day, building on this and keep trying to improve, the results will come. I need to be patient with that.”

Also, Frances Tiafoe beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to set up a last-eight clash with Jeremy Chardy. The Frenchman beat Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Benedetti wins 12th stage; Polanc takes Giro lead

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PINEROLO, Italy (AP) Cesare Benedetti won the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday for his first victory as a professional while Jan Polanc took the overall leader’s pink jersey from UAE Emirates teammate Valerio Conti.

Benedetti, an Italian with the Bora team who has been a support rider for his entire career, was part of an early breakaway then accelerated from a select group of riders in a sprint finish.

“I’ve worked a lot for the others in the past but today I got my opportunity,” Benedetti said. “I’m not (usually) a winner.”

Benedetti required 3 hours, 41 minutes to complete the 158-kilometer (98-mile) leg from Cuneo to Pinerolo, which featured one major climb and another shorter but steeper ascent just before the finish.

Damiano Caruso crossed second and Eddie Dunbar came third, each with the same time as Benedetti. Polanc, a Slovenian who was also in the breakaway, finished 25 seconds behind.

In the overall standings, Polanc leads Primoz Roglic by 4 minutes, 7 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali, one of the pre-race favorites, is fifth overall, 5:51 behind.

“It was a team tactic that I would go in the breakaway so we could have a better control over the race,” Polanc said. “It was also a way to keep the pink jersey in the team.”

Mikel Landa and Miguel Angel Lopez attacked on the first-category climb to Montoso and gained about 30 seconds on the other overall favorites.

Before the stage began, sprinters Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani withdrew from the race. Ewan won two stages, including the 11th leg a day earlier, while Viviani posted three second-place finishes.

Stage 13 on Friday is one of the race’s toughest, with two category one climbs and one category ascent, along with an uphill finish at the end of the 196-kilometer leg from Pinerolo to Ceresole Reale.

The Giro ends June 2 in Verona.

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Tsonga rallies past qualifier to reach quarterfinals in Lyon

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LYON, France (AP) Former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied past Canadian qualifier Steven Diez on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals and extend his perfect record at the Lyon Open.

Tsonga, the 2017 champion, came within two points of losing but finally prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 on his sixth match point after 2 hours, 42 minutes.

The clay-court event serves as a warmup for the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“It was good for me to play a long match like this,” Tsonga said. “I haven’t played a match this long for a while. I am not playing my best level, but I am giving everything mentally and that gives me confidence.”

Tsonga will next take on top-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat lucky loser Tristan Lamasine 7-5, 7-5.

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