- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Gilles Simon secured his first win over top-seeded Andy Murray in nearly eight years to set up a semifinal with defending champion Tomas Berdych at the World Tennis Tournament on Friday.

In the other semifinal, second-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada will face 2013 Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland after both won their quarterfinals.

Since Simon’s previous win over Murray in 2007 on clay at the Rome Masters, the Frenchman had lost 12 matches against the former Wimbledon champion.

Simon saved four of the six break points he faced, and capitalized on Murray’s unforced errors to win 6-4, 6-2 on his third match point.

Earlier, Berdych escaped unscathed from a heavy fall and romped to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over another Frenchman, Gael Monfils. The Czech hit a flurry of baseline winners and served extremely well, winning 88 percent of the points on his first serve.

The third-seeded Berdych needed just 23 minutes to seal the first set, and broke for 2-1 in the second soon after calling the trainer to have his left wrist checked following his tumble when chasing a drop shot.

“It was a nasty fall,” Berdych said. “I’ll have to see how it evolves, but hopefully I will fully recover for the semifinals.”

Monfils attended to the hard-hitting Czech after he slipped, stepping across the net to help him back on his feet, and picking up his racket.

“The score may give the impression it was an easy victory, but it was a tough fight,” Berdych said. “I really had to go all out.”

Berdych has been in impressive form since the start of the year under the helm of new coach Dani Vallverdu, reaching the final in Doha before making the Australian Open semifinals.

Meanwhile, the big-serving Raonic was below-par, hitting only six aces in a gritty 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, with both players dropping serve twice.

Wawrinka edged Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 7-6 (3), 6-3, with both players serving nine aces.

Wawrinka leads Raonic 3-0 in career head-to-heads, while Simon leads Berdych 6-3 - having won four of their past five meetings.

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