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Defending champion Verdasco reaches semifinals

HOUSTON (AP) — Defending champion Fernando Verdasco beat Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-3 on a stormy Friday to reach the semifinals in the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

The sixth-seeded Verdasco, from Spain, will face the winner of the late match between top-seeded countryman Feliciano Lopez and eighth-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States.

Gabashvili dropped to 0-14 in ATP World Tour quarterfinals.

In the other quarterfinals, American Jack Sock beat fifth-seeded Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-4, and third-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa topped seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 7-5, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3). The Anderson-Chardy ended 11 hours after it was scheduled to start.

Play was delayed for more than five hours in the afternoon because of intermittent heavy rain and also an 18-minute stoppage caused by a power failure on the grounds.

“Some of the toughest conditions I’ve ever had to play in,” Anderson said. “The balls weren’t in great shape. It was hard to even see them at the end of the second set. Once either one of us missed a first serve, it was pretty tough to win second-serve points because if one of us got a good (return), it was tough to engage.”

The 22-year-old Sock is playing his third tournament of the year after having surgery to repair a torn muscle in his pelvis in December.

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