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Hewitt eases into Houston semifinals

LLEYTON Hewitt beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston.

Hewitt served for the match in the eighth game but was broken. The Australian squandered three match points in the 10th game before securing his 497th career victory. The three other semifinal players have a combined 122 career victories.

In other matches, Bjorn Phau beat Tommy Haas 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in an all-German clash; Russian Evgeny Korolev rallied past Guillermo Canas of Argentina 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Wayne Odesnik outlasted American compatriot John Isner 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

In the semifinals, Odesnik will face Phau with Hewitt taking on Korolev.

Hewitt, formerly ranked No. 1, is trying to reach his first final since he won at Las Vegas in 2007. Last year, Hewitt had a string of 10 years with at least one victory snapped. He has been coming back from hip surgery and currently carries a No. 88 world ranking.

In Marbella, Spain, World No. 4 Jelena Jankovic fought back from a set down to beat Italy's Roberta Vinci 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) in the quarterfinals of the Andalucia Tennis Experience on Friday.

The Serbian second seed found it tough going against the 67th-ranked Vinci on the clay and will play Anabel Medina Garrigues for a place in today's final after the Spanish fourth seed beat sixth-seeded Italian Sara Errani 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5.

The other semifinal will feature Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, who trounced Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 and Romania's Sorana Cirstea, who came through 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.


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