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Sixth-seeded Marat Safin hit 10 aces and beat No. 2 Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4, 7-6 (2), in a showdown between U.S. Open champs to reach the Paris Masters semifinals.

Safin closed in on his third title at the indoor tournament and will meet 13th-seeded Guillermo Canas next. Canas defeated Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 6-3.

"It's a long time since I played this well," 2000 U.S. Open champion Safin said. "I hope I can stay playing like this until the end of the season."

In the other half of the draw, Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek will play Max Mirnyi. Stepanek eliminated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 7-6 (1), 6-3, to reach his first semifinal of the season, and Mirnyi saved a match point before beating Robin Soderling, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5).

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