Verdasco, Gasquet advance in Bastad

Fabio Fognini will meet Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals of the Swedish Open after they both won in straight sets on Friday.

Fernando Verdasco in action on the ATP Tour.   -  Patrik Lundin/Getty Images

Fernando Verdasco overcame fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the semi-finals of the Swedish Open as his bid to reach the final for the third time in his career continued.

The experienced Verdasco, who is the fifth seed in Bastad, triumphed 6-4 6-2 to end a three-match losing run against Carreno Busta that included a last-16 clash at the Miami Open earlier this year.

"I think I played my best match so far in Bastad," the 34-year-old from Madrid told the ATP Tour.

"I knew it was going to be a really difficult match, as Pablo beat me in Miami this year and also in Basel a couple of years ago."

After knocking out his countryman, Verdasco will next face Fabio Fognini after the third-seeded Italian recorded a 6-4 6-3 victory over Federico Delbonis.

On the other side of the draw, Frenchman Richard Gasquet ended wild card Casper Ruud’s impressive run in the tournament.

The Norwegian had knocked out defending champion David Ferrer in the last round but, after losing the opener on a tie-break, he was unable to prevent Gasquet from winning in straight sets.

Henri Laaksonen is also through to the final four, the lucky loser from Switzerland coming through a tight three-set tussle against Simone Bolelli.

Laaksonen - who has yet to reach the final at an ATP Tour event in his career - found himself 4-2 down in the decider but fought back impressively, eventually clinching a 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory after just under two hours on court.

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