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Federer reaches semis in Dubai as he chases 100th title

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roger Federer is two matches away from his 100th career title after beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Federer faced two set points in the tiebreaker but Fucsovics hit two forehands into the net to let the Swiss star take control. Federer then wasted an early break in the second set but broke again for a 5-4 lead before serving out the match when Fucsovics sent a forehand return wide.

Federer is looking to become the second man in the professional era to reach 100 tour-level tournament tiles, joining Jimmy Connors, who won 109. Seven of Federer’s previous 99 triumphs have come in Dubai.

He will face the winner of Borna Coric and Nikolaz Basilashvili in the semifinals.

The other semifinal will pit rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece against French veteran Gael Monfils.

Tsitispas outlasted Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-1, while Monfils beat Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

Both Tsitsipas and Monfils are coming off tournament wins in Europe last week and have a 1-1 head-to-head record.

“We’re both serving really well,” Tsitsipas said. “We have similar game style. I guess I’m a bit more aggressive than him, but he’s much faster. I’m going to have to deal with all of that, be patient, play with passion as well, just wait for the opportunities to break him.”

Matteo Berrettini breaks through on grass to win Stuttgart Open

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STUTTGART, Germany — Matteo Berrettini beat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (11) to win the Stuttgart Open and his third tour-level title on Sunday.

The Italian saved five set points in a second-set tiebreaker and clinched his first title on grass. His other titles came at Budapest in April, and Gstaad, Switzerland, last year.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May – both on clay.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games during the week in Stuttgart. He did not face a break point against Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime progressed to the final in his first professional grass tournament without playing Saturday as compatriot Milos Raonic withdrew ahead of their semifinal due to back problems.

Playing on two surfaces, Vekic reaches Nottingham semis

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NOTTINGHAM, England — Former champion Donna Vekic finally got to play on grass at the Nottingham Open on Friday but had to overcome multiple rain delays and another switch indoors before reaching the semifinals.

The second-seeded Vekic defeated Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-4 in a match played on two surfaces as rain again played havoc with the schedule.

The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first and second rounds indoors as rain fell for four consecutive days.

Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in her third straight semifinal in Nottingham. Maria earlier defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the only match completed on grass so far at the tournament.

Also Friday, American Jennifer Brady defeated fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.

Garcia rallied to beat Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the last quarterfinal.