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Mirza races into semis, Roddick dumps Hewitt

INDIA'S Sania Mirza reached only her second semifinal in two years with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over Hungary's Melinda Czink at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England, yesterday.

The 22-year-old raced out to a fast start, repeatedly breaking Czink's serve to take the first set, but was tested in the second when she came within two points of being taken to a deciding third set.

After losing the first, Czink got an early break of serve to reach 3-1 in the second, only for Mirza to break back to level the scores at 3-3. Mirza then broke again for 5-4, but Czink fought back and saved a match point before taking a 5-6 lead.

Mirza then held her serve to force a tiebreaker before closing out the match.

"I have had some difficult matches here and I am just happy to have come through," Mirza said.

Mirza, recovering from a career-threatening wrist injury, was encouraged by her performances to date.

"I struggled last week and I am just happy to be back. I'm happy to be competing and winning some matches," Mirza said. "The wrist is healed which is the biggest positive out of this."

Next up, Mirza will face the winner of a quarterfinal match between Urszula Radwanska of Poland and Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

In London, Andy Roddick defeated Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) to advance to the quarterfinals at Queen's Club on Thursday after the start of the match had been delayed by a security alert.

Tournament officials, after initially saying the match was being delayed due to technical issues, disclosed that a spectator had discovered a bomb threat pinned to a wall. However, a security sweep found nothing.

While waiting for about 20 minutes, the two former champions chatted at the net.

"Obviously your concern is making sure everyone is safe," Roddick said. "There wasn't really much to be done and I know they were trying to decide what they were going to do. Obviously we were hoping we were going to get a chance to stay out there and play the match, but that (the bomb threat) was a first for me."

Roddick will take on former finalist Ivo Karlovic.

Andy Murray also reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The top-seeded Brit needed just one break in each set to secure a comfortable win over an opponent who rallied well but never offered a serious threat.

James Blake outlasted Sam Querrey 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in an all-American clash. Fellow American Mardy Fish joined Blake in the quarterfinals when he defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-4.


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