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Sports

Federer, Murray clash in semis

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INDIAN WELLS, California – Three-time champion Roger Federer downed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 7-6 (5), Thursday to move into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Second-seeded Federer, who took the Indian Wells title three consecutive years beginning in 2004, next will play No. 4 Andy Murray. The 21-year-old Scot defeated Ivan Ljubicic, 7-5, 7-6 (6), to run his 2009 match record to 19-1.

The other quarterfinals played Friday have top-seeded Rafael Nadal meeting sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, and No. 3 Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, facing seventh-seeded Andy Roddick.

Federer overcame a lapse in the second set, when he hit three bad shots in a brief span to allow No. 10 Verdasco to break his service and take a 6-5 lead. But the Swiss star came back to break Verdasco in the following game, when Verdasco double faulted, hit a forehand long and a backhand long to lose three of the final four points.

Federer then built a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker and finished it off with a service winner.

Murray, whose game appears to be getting better all the time, beat Ljubicic by simply keeping the ball in play. Murray hit just 17 winners to 36 by his Croatian opponent, but made only 15 unforced errors to Ljubicic’s 40.           (AP)

ANDY MURRAY

ANDY RODDICK

BUT THE SWISS

FEDERER

INDIAN WELLS

IVAN LJUBICIC

JUAN MARTIN

LJUBICIC

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

VERDASCO

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