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France's Richard Gasquet reacts during his tennis match against France's Kenny de Schepper during the Open Sud de France ATP World Tour in Montpellier, southern France, on February 10, 2017. / AFP / PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Defending Champion Gasquet Reaches Open Sud De France Semis

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) -- Two-time defending champion Richard Gasquet of France beat big-serving countryman Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Open Sud de France on Friday.

De Schepper, a left-handed player ranked 162, had 16 aces. But he also proved vulnerable on his serve, conceding 22 break points, with Gasquet converting five.

The third-seeded Gasquet next faces Benoit Paire and holds a 3-0 record against his countryman in their career meetings.

Paire advanced after Germany's Dustin Brown retired early into their quarterfinal. Paire had broken Brown's serve for a 1-0 lead.

Later Friday, second seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France was facing Russian Daniil Medvedev and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy took on 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev.

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