US qualifier Hampton into Eastbourne semifinalsAP , Associated Press
Jun. 20, 2013 11:42 AM ET
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Qualifier Jamie Hampton became the first American since Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to reach the Eastbourne semifinals after rallying past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Thursday.
Hampton couldn't capitalize on any of her seven break points in the first set. Safarova broke to lead 4-3 in the second set and served for the match at 5-4. But Hampton broke back and had a set point at 6-5 before sweeping the tiebreaker.
After an exchange of breaks early in the final set, Hampton broke again to lead 5-4.
Li Na was upset in the quarterfinals, falling 7-6 (4), 6-3 to Elena Vesnina.
The players had contrasting paths to the quarterfinals. Vesnina struggled through her first two matches to win both in three sets. Li, the 2011 French Open champion, had played just two sets before receiving a walkover in the second round.
The second-seeded Li rarely looked comfortable. After sharing breaks in the first set, Vesnina took the tiebreaker. In the second set and after an exchange of breaks, a double-fault gave Vesnina a 5-3 lead. She served out the match for her third win over Li in four meetings.
On the men's side, Feliciano Lopez beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6 (6) to reach the final four in a match of Spanish lefthanders.
The match was delayed for 90 minutes by light rain. Just one break of serve at 2-2 decided the opening set, when Verdasco was unhappy about the grass-court conditions.
Lopez saved a break point to hold for 2-2 and a second set point at 5-4. He rallied from 4-1 down in the tiebreaker.