Roger Federer extends winning streak against Jarkko Nieminen

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Roger Federer beat Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 7-6 (2) on Friday to extend his record against the Finn to 13-0 and reach the semifinals of the ABN Amro World Tennis.

Federer’s winning streak against Nieminen dates to 2002. Federer, seeded first and ranked third, will face the winner of the quarterfinal Nikolay Davydenko and Richard Gasquet.

Third-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro also reached the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over seventh-ranked Viktor Troicki. Del Potro will play second-seeded Tomas Berdych, who ousted Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4.

QATAR OPEN: In Doha, Qatar, U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur reached her first semifinal of the year, defeating Monica Niculescu 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

In another quarterfinal, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka swept aside Yanina Wickmayer 6-0, 6-4 for her 15th consecutive win. Azarenka next plays Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Christina McHale 6-1, 6-1.

After losing in the first round of her home Australian Open, Stosur has won three consecutive matches in Doha. Her latest win came against an opponent who uses lots of spin and hits a two-handed backhand and forehand.

“It’s a really good feeling,” Stosur said. “I guess it’s still only February, so to bounce back relatively quickly is always pleasing. Yeah, it’s definitely nice to be on the winning side than not.”

Stosur jumped to 5-0 en route to winning the first set. But Niculescu responded in the second, breaking Stosur twice to even the match.

Stosur regained the momentum in the third, leading 3-0 only to see Niculescu take advantage of errors to make it 3-3. But with Stosur serving at love-30 in the seventh game, Niculescu failed to capitalize. She missed an easy volley to let Stosur back in the game, and Stosur then hit a forehand in the corner to go up 4-3. She ran off the final two games.

Stosur will face fifth-seeded Marion Bartoli, who ended the strong run of Lucie Safarova, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

BRAZIL OPEN: In Sao Paulo, defending champion Nicolas Almagro defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2 to reach the clay-court semifinals.

Almagro, seeded first and ranked No. 11, will play in an all-Spanish semifinal today against Albert Ramos. Ramos, seeded eighth, beat third-seeded Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a quarterfinal between left-handers.


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