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Monfils through to Croatia Open semifinals

UMAG, Croatia (AP) — Top-seeded Gael Monfils of France rallied to beat sixth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 and reach the semifinals of the Croatia Open on Friday.

Monfils was a break down in the second set, before building a 5-2 lead and wasting two set points. He won five straight points in the tiebreaker to force the decider.

A single break was enough for the Frenchman to win the third set and clinch a sixth semifinal spot in 2015.

Monfils will face Austrian Dominic Thiem who beat fellow Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-7 (5), 6-1, 3-0. Haider-Maurer retired due to a knee injury.

Second-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced by defeating Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3, 6-3.

Bautista Agut saved all four break points he faced, including three when the 18-year-old Coric was trailing 3-5 with a chance to stay in the first set.

“I am not pleased with the way I played but I still felt I had some chances,” Coric said. “I dropped both mentally and physically in the second set.”

It’s the fourth semifinal of the season for Bautista Agut. The Spaniard lost all three semifinals so far in 2015 — in Chennai, Marseille and Munich.

He will face Joao Sousa who saved a match point and upset fifth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6) to advance to the semifinals — his third this year. Sousa reached the final in Geneva in May.

“I played very good tennis,” Sousa said. “At the end we both deserved to win and I had more luck.”

Sousa started the match quickly, winning the first four games in just 11 minutes.

Fognini recovered in the second set, breaking for the first time to gain a 3-1 lead.

Sousa started the third with a 2-0 lead, but Fognini then broke back as the decider went to a tiebreaker. Sousa was 5-6 before rallying to win after two hours of play.

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