Tennis

Young, Murray into Thailand semis

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BANGKOK (AP)

Andy Murray defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 Friday to reach the semifinals of the Thailand Open.

The top-seeded Murray broke in the ninth game of each set to set up the win. The 20-year-old behind 5-4 down in the second set and smashed his racket.

''At the end of both sets, he missed a few shots,'' Murray said.

Murray, who has reached the semifinals at all four Grand Slams this year, has set his sights on overtaking Roger Federer for the No. 3 ranking by the end of the year.

''I am trying to improve my ranking at the end of the year as Roger is not playing for a couple of weeks,'' Murray said. ''I'm trying to finish third, which I have never done before.''

Murray will face Gilles Simon of France or Matthias Bachinger of Germany in the semifinal on Saturday. In the other match, Donald Young of the United States will play second-seeded Gael Monfils of France.

Young reached his second semifinal of the year by beating Go Soeda of Japan 6-1, 6-2.

Young, ranked No. 55, has yet to make a final this year. He reached the semifinals last month in Washington.

''I hope to go further. Every time you make it into a stage, the second time you hope to go further,'' Young said. ''When you win a tournament you want to repeat.''

Young will face second-seeded Gael Monfils of France, who defeated Jarkko Nieminem of Finland 7-5, 7-6 (4) in another quarterfinal match.

''He gets a lot of balls back,'' Young said. ''He's in the top 10. He beat me pretty bad the last we played. Whoever I play, it's going to be a tough match for me.''

Monfils, who also reached the Thailand Open semifinals in 2008, is still recovering from a knee injury but held on in both sets to advance.

''I still had a small pain on the knee and I have to ice it, put a bit more protection,'' Monfils said.

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