American Hampton into Eastbourne semifinals

Last updated 03:25 21/06/2013

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Qualifier Jamie Hampton became the first American since Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to reach the Eastbourne semifinals after rallying past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 3-6 7-6 (1) 6-4 today.

Hampton was unable to win any of her seven break points in the first set. Safarova broke to lead 4-3 in the second set and served for victory at 5-4, but the American broke back and even had a set point at 6-5 before sweeping the tiebreaker.

After an exchange of breaks early in the final set, Hampton broke again to lead 5-4.

Li Na was upset in the quarterfinals, falling 7-6 (4) 6-3 to Russia's Elena Vesnina.

The players had contrasting paths to the quarterfinals. Vesnina struggled through her first two matches to win both in three sets. Li, the 2011 French Open champion, had played just two sets before receiving a walkover in the second round.

The second-seeded Chinese player rarely looked comfortable. After sharing breaks in the first set, Vesnina took the tiebreaker. In the second set and after an exchange of breaks, a double-fault gave Vesnina a 5-3 lead and she served out for her third win over Li in four meetings.

On the men's side, Feliciano Lopez beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-6 (6) to reach the final four in a battle of Spanish lefthanders.

The match was delayed for 90 minutes by light rain. Just one break of serve at 2-2 decided the opening set, and Verdasco was unhappy about the grass-court conditions.

Lopez saved a break point to hold for 2-2 and a second set point at 5-4. He rallied from 4-1 down in the tiebreaker.

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- AP

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