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Fish advances to Delray Beach semifinals

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:21

In search of his first title since tasting victory at Houston in April 2006, the 21st-ranked Fish faced his first test at the US dollars 500,000 hardcourt event but has still yet to drop a set.

The 27-year-old Fish, who is the only top-50 player left in the draw, registered nine aces and no double faults in recording the win in one hour and 28 minutes.

Serra turns 28 on Saturday but was unable to give himself an early birthday present as he lost for the second time in two meetings with Fish, who is looking to become the first American to win on home soil since Jan-Michael Gambill in 2003 when he defeated Fish.

Seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy ended the run of Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis by winning a pair of tiebreakers en route to a 7-6 (9/7) 7-6 (7/3) victory. Each player broke serve twice during the match, but the Frechman outlasted Baghdatis in one hour and 49 minutes to set up a meeting with Fish.

The 22-year-old Chardy is through to the semifinals for the second time this season after he reached the final in Johannesburg before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In the other semifinal, an unlikely duo will face off for the chance to capture their first ATP title.

Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev cruised past Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-2 in only 55 minutes. Korolev blasted seven aces to zero double faults while converting on 5-of-9 break chances to secure the win. He will face Belgium’s Christophe Rochus, who moved into an ATP semifinal for the first time in two years with a 6-3 7-6 (8/6) triumph over Stefan Koubek of Austria.

The champion here in 2000, Koubek had won four straight against Rochus. The 30-year-old Rochus last advanced to the finals of an ATP event at Rotterdam in February 2006.

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