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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.

Bencic beats 2-time defending champ Svitolina in Dubai semi

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic stopped Elina Svitolina’s bid for a third consecutive title at the Dubai Championships by beating her 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the semifinals Friday.

The 45th-ranked Bencic won her third match in a row against a top-10 opponent and will face yet another, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, in Saturday’s final at the hard-court tournament.

Kvitova advanced to her third final of 2019 by edging Hsieh Su-wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The No. 2-seeded Kvitova picked up her tour-high 17th victory of 2019.

Bencic is seeking her third career title, Kvitova her 27th.

Against No. 6 seed Svitolina, Bencic trailed 5-3 in the third set. This was her latest in a string of comebacks. She saved six match points against eighth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, then erased a set deficit to beat third-seeded Simona Halep in the quarterfinals.

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Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total. Bencic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and then raced out to a 3-0 lead in the decider, having won six games in a row. Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova had no such problems, winning the last eight games to oust Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 to book her spot in the last four. Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win. She will next face Su-wei Hsieh of Taiwan, who came from 5-1 down in the final set to beat fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. It was the latest upset for Hsieh, who ousted Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.

In the final quarterfinal, Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain was playing Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

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