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Murray, Haas, Ferrer gain at Indian Wells; Li in semis

3/15/2007 - Tennis

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Andy Murray added to his strong start this season with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Nikolay Davydenko in Wednesday's fourth round of the Pacific Life Open.

Later on Wednesday, Tommy Haas extended his match record this year to 20-3, the most wins on the tour, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Fernando Gonzalez. Haas had lost both his previous matches against Gonzalez, including a defeat in the Australian Open semifinals in January.

Murray has won 18 of 21 matches in 2007, including successfully
defending his title at San Jose.

On another 90-plus degree day at Indian Wells, No. 14 Murray had
10 aces, with his serve topping out at 136 mph, against his
fourth-ranked foe from Russia.

"I served great," said Murray, a 19-year-old from Scotland.
"I think it was about playing the big points better than the guy
who's No. 4 in the world.

"It's about me playing a really good match and managing to come
through."

Murray is continuing his steady climb the rankings, jumping from
No. 514 in 2004 to 65th in 2005 to 17th last season. His victory
over Davydenko was his second in four meetings, the first coming in
the semifinals at Doha in January.

David Ferrer of Spain defeated countryman Carlos Moya 1-6, 6-2,
6-3 in another fourth-round match.

In a night match, Daniela Hantuchova defeated Shahar Peer 6-2,
5-7, 7-6(5) in a 2 hour, 43-minute duel to move into the women's
semifinals. Earlier, Li Na downed Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5 in their
quarterfinal.

No. 17 Li, China's best player ever, had defeated No. 9 Jelena
Jankovic in straight sets a day earlier, and had her game going
again against Zvonareva, keeping the Russian on the run with her
accurate ground strokes.

Li bounced back to wrap up the victory after she was down set
point twice in the 10th game of the second set.

The previous afternoon, No. 20 Zvonareva had knocked defending
champion Maria Sharapova out of the tournament with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-1
victory that also will cost Sharapova her No. 1 spot when the
rankings come out on Monday. Justine Henin will replace the Russian
teenager at the top.

The 25-year-old Li, the first Chinese player to break into top
30 in the rankings, also is the first from her country to win a
tour singles title, at Guangzhou in 2004 as a qualifier ranked
145th.

She's still looking for her second tour victory, with a
quarterfinals appearance at Wimbledon in 2006 among her other
highlights.