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Verdasco makes Houston semis

Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco eased into the ATP semi-finals in Houston with victory over Donald Young.

Verdasco secured his first last-four spot in an ATP event this year after overcoming a few wobbles on clay on Friday night in the first set before cruising home with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 win.

The 30-year-old from Madrid will next play Santiago Giraldo, who defeated Alejandro Gonzalez 6-3 6-4 in an all-Colombian clash.

Verdasco said: "Young played great tennis in the first set but I kept fighting and he didn't serve well in the game and I broke him.

"After that he started missing a little more, including in the tie-break. After I won the tie break I took extra confidence and started to be more stable on the court."

His next opponent Giraldo will be featuring in his fifth ATP semi-final of his career and his second in 2014 after falling to Leonardo Mayer in the at Vina del Mar earlier this year.

Third-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro also advanced in Houston, overcoming American Jack Sock 6-2 6-4.

Almagro will face American Sam Querrey, who fired 15 aces and saved all four break-points he faced in a 6-3 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 victory over Germany's Dustin Brown.

Querrey, a former world number 17, is in the final four in this event for the second time after finishing as runner-up in 2010.

"You have to be ready for anything," Querrey said of Brown's varied game. "He might come in, he might stay back, he might serve and volley, slice a forehand, drop shot.

"You have to expect everything and not get frustrated when he wins points."

Almagro will be trying to improve on his runner-up finish in Houston last year, when he lost to American John Isner in the final.