Safin advances to Estoril semifinals

April 16, 2004 at 3:33 PM

ESTORIL, Portugal, April 16 (UPI) -- Russian Marat Safin reached the semifinals of the Estoril Open in Portugal Friday with a victory over fourth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain.

Safin, once ranked No. 1 in the world, beat Robredo for the fourth time in six encounters, 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).

The 24-year-old Safin will play Irakli Labadze of Georgia in the semifinals.

Labadze advanced in a walkover against Spain's Rafael Nadal, who had to withdraw because of a small fracture in his left ankle.

The other semifinal will feature Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, who beat France's Olivier Patience 6-3, 6-2, and Germany's Florian Mayer, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Romanian Victor Hanescu.

On the women's side, Iveta Bensova of the Czech Republic, Frenchwoman Stephanie Cohen-Aloro, Marta Marrero of Spain and Emile Loit of France reached the semis.

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