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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin, Korolyov Beaten in Las Vegas Semifinals

LAS VEGAS -- Marat Safin lost in the Las Vegas Open semifinals Saturday but was still content with his progress going into this month's back-to-back Masters Series events.

He was beaten 7-5, 6-1 by the second seed, Lleyton Hewitt, but having struggled for form in the first two months of the year, Safin believes he is on the right track.

"I think the way I am hitting the ball is pretty good. I made the quarterfinals [in San Jose] and semifinals [in Las Vegas]. Maybe it is not unbelievable, but for me it is pretty good."

Things looked promising for Safin when he broke Hewitt in the opening game of the match, but the Russian said his opponent had served well when it mattered.

"I had my chances," he said. "But he came up with good shots at the important moments and he was serving well."

Hewitt will face Austrian Juergen Melzer, who came from 5-3 down in the final set to beat unseeded Russian teenager Yevgeny Korolyov 6-7, 6-2, 7-6.

The Korolyov, 19, appearing in his first ATP Tour semifinal, recovered from an early break down to win the first set on a tiebreak thanks to some aggressive tennis.

But with the Russian apparently unwilling to come to the net, the left-handed Melzer was able to wait for Korolyov to make mistakes and the tactic paid off as the Austrian's experience eventually told.