Verdasco beats Monfils to reach semifinals in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Fernando Verdasco advanced to the semifinals at the Dubai Tennis Championships by beating fourth-seeded Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-5 Thursday.

The 35th-ranked Verdasco, one of five unseeded players in the quarterfinals, had lost all three of his previous matches against Monfils, the last coming in 2013.

''I tried to be aggressive but not make too many unforced errors,'' Verdasco said. ''He's one of the best defenders in the game. I came out and just wanted to play my game.''

Verdasco served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but had his serve broken at love. He won the next two games to secure a semifinal berth.

Verdasco will next play Robin Haase, who defeated Dami Dzumhur 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

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