Wawrinka beats Bedene to reach Doha semi-finals

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Doha (AFP)

Stan Wawrinka eased into the Qatar Open semi-finals on Friday with a straight-sets win over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene.

The three-time Grand Slam champion made it back-to-back victories to start the season with a 6-3, 6-4 success and will play Frenchman Corentin Moutet later on Friday in the last four.

The winner of that tie will face in-form Russian Andrey Rublev in the final.

Second seed Rublev beat Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-1 in the first semi-final, having earlier cruised past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-3 in the quarters.

Wawrinka, the top seed in Doha, is bidding for his 17th ATP title but first since winning on clay in Geneva in May 2017.

The 34-year-old Swiss is playing the tournament for only the second time since a 2008 final defeat by Andy Murray, having lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in last year's quarter-finals.