Andy Murray’s slow start gets better against Roger Federer

STOCKHOLM — Andy Murray beat top-seeded Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6 (4) to reach the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open on Friday.

Federer won four of the first five games but dropped the next two in a tiebreaker. Murray fought off the first match point but Federer responded by taking the next three points to reach his fifth semifinal in Stockholm.

Murray advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 by getting his first win over Federer on clay.

Murray will face second-seeded Viktor Troicki, who defeated American Steve Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2).

Third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain topped Gael Monfils 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Elsewhere, 13th-seeded Radek Stepanek beat qualifier Hyeon Chung 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Stepanek will face third-seeded Pablo Cuevas, who defeated Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4.

Three-time tournament winner Fernando Verdasco overcame a slow start to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 6-2 and advance to the quarterfinals.

Verdasco will play Viktor Troicki after the Serbian player beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2).

Verdasco needed to save a match point in the first set.

“I was lucky he did not finish me off in that second set,” Verdasco said. “I never like losing a match but I am really happy to be in the quarterfinals.”

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