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Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell have dropped exactly two games in each of their four sets on the way to the Houston semi-finals.


Top seeds Golubev/Martin advance to Marrakech semi-finals

Australian Open finalists Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell are one win away from their second tour-level final of the season after a dominant win Thursday in Houston.

The Aussies swept past Nicholas Monroe and Fernando Romboli, 6-2, 6-2, to reach the final four at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship. It was an identical scoreline to their first-round victory over the American pairing of Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey.

Ebden and Purcell converted on four of their six break chances in the match while saving all five break points against them.

Twin brothers Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov scored the upset of the day in Houston, knocking out third seeds Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock, 6-4, 6-2. They’ll face William Blumberg and Max Schnur in the semi-finals, after they won an all-American matchup against Robert Galloway and Jackson Withrow.

In the Marrakech quarter-finals, top seeds Andrey Golubev and Fabrice Martin were 6-3, 7-6(4) winners over Elliot Benchetrit and Lamine Ouahab. After surviving a Match Tie-break in the opening round against Dutchmen Tallon Griekspoor and Botic van de Zandschulp, the Kazakh/French duo dominated on serve Thursday, winning 82 per cent of first serve points and not allowing a break point.

They will face Andrea Vavassori and Jan Zielinski in the Grand Prix Hassan II semis, after the Meixcan/Polish duo defeated Guillermo Duran and Federico Delbonis, 3-6, 7-6(7), 10-3. The opposite semi-final will see Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez take on Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

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