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Kohlschreiber, Sandgren, Norrie, Struff reach Auckland semis

January 10, 2019
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Philipp Kohlschreiber from Germany plays against Fabio Fognini from Italy during the quarter finals of the ASB Classic men's tennis tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Symes)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated second-seeded Fabio Fognini again 6-3, 6-1 to reach the ASB Classic semifinals on Thursday.

Unseeded Kohlschreiber, who won the tournament in 2008, will have to go through Tennys Sandgren to reach another final in Auckland on his 12th visit.

The other semifinal will feature New Zealand-born Englishman Cameron Norrie, a wild card, against Jan-Lennard Struff. Norrie or Struff will reach his first ATP final.

Fognini called for the trainer at one point, and in the second set he made little effort to resist Kohlschreiber’s progress to his seventh win over the Italian in nine meetings.

“I’m still improving my game, even at 35 years old. I think you are still able to improve,” Kohlschreiber said.

He captured his first service break in the third game, held serve in the following game which lasted 10 minutes and contained five deuces, then clinched the set with relative comfort, breaking Fognini again in the ninth game.

Sandgren, an Australian Open quarterfinalist last year, defeated Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 7-6 (5) without facing a break point.

Sandgren had eight break-point chances but converted only one.

Norrie beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Struff beat fourth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (5), 6-7 (8), 7-6 (9) in three hours to ensure no seeds reached the semifinals.

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