The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ex-champs Becker, Koukalova reach semis at rainy Topshelf Open

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'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - Benjamin Becker of Germany reached his first ATP semifinals in almost 2 1/2 years when he beat the equally desperate Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4 at the rainy Topshelf Open on Thursday.

Becker, who won his only ATP title here in 2009, was leading in the second set when their quarterfinal was interrupted for 90 minutes by rain. It didn't help Pospisil, who has been dealing with a lower back strain and lost for the 10th time in 13 matches since the Australian Open.

In his first semi since Memphis in February 2012, Becker will face Joao Sousa, the Portuguese qualifier who put away Dutch wild card Thiemo de Bakker 6-4, 6-2.

Meanwhile, second seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain and eighth seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria were stopped by darkness at 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6). Melzer double-faulted at 6-6 and Verdasco finished the second set with an ace to tie the set score.

On the women's side, Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic, who won her first tournament here in 2005, dispatched Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-2 6-4. She will face Coco Vandeweghe after the American qualifier defeated seventh seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-1.

The other semi features Zheng Jie of China against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, both winners of four titles on tour.

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