Hampton tops Safarova to reach Eastbourne semifinals

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EASTBOURNE, England (AP)—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 on Thursday.

Hampton couldn't capitalize on any of her seven break points in the first set. Safarova broke to lead 4-3 in the second set and served for the match at 5-4. But Hampton broke back and 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.

On the men's side, Feliciano Lopez beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6 (6) to reach the final four in a match 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, when 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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