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Nishikori, Gulbis roll into Malaysian Open semis

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Top-seeded Kei Nishikori rubbed out Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-3, 6-0 for the third time this year in the Malaysian Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Nishikori fended off the only break point he faced, and broke Matosevic five times.

The U.S. Open finalist will play Jarkko Nieminen of Finland for the first time for a place in the final.

Nieminen took out Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-3, 6-4 to reach his second semifinal of the year.

Second-seeded Ernest Gulbis of Latvia struck a dozen aces in a 6-3, 7-5 win over Benjamin Becker of Germany, his first successive wins since May.

In Gulbis’ way will be fourth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France, who beat fifth-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 to have a shot at making the final for a third straight year. He has yet to win an ATP singles title.

He broke Cuevas four times, and took 2 hours, 19 minutes to prevail at Putra Stadium.

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