Gasquet to meet Rochus in Kingfisher Airlines Open tennis final

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Mumbai, Sep 29 (UNI) Top seed Richard Gasquet of France wasted no time in demolishing his countrymate fifth seed Fabrice Santoro in straight sets 6-0, 6-3 to storm into the final of the 416,000 US Dollars Kingfisher Airlines Open Tennis tournament at the CCI hard courts here today.

In the final, Gasquet will meet eight seed Olivier Rochus of Belgium who stopped the giant killing run of unseeded Rainer Schuettler of Germany, beating him 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Gasquet, the world number 14, proved too strong for veteran Santoro. The top seed outplayed the fifth seed with his power game as Santoro tried his chips and deft touches. Gasquet, with his big serve and passing shots, quelled the challenge of Santoro taking the first set without dropping a game 6-0.

The second set saw Santoro trying to match Gasquet and the set went with serves till 3-3, when Gasquet increased the level of his game to reel of the next three games and with it win the match and a place in the final.

The other semifinal between the eighth seed Rochus and unseeded Schuettler who had dumped second seed Lleyton Hewitt in the quarters, was a much closer affair with both players trying to assert themselves early.

Schuettler's serve failed him today making three double faults in the first set at critical moments to hand over the first set 6-4.

The second set saw the eighth seed increasing the tempo, getting an early break and then holding onto it to close out the match in an hour and 49 minutes for a place in the final.

In a doubles semifinal played earlier in the day, the third seeds Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland survived a tough second set against the unseeded Serbian pair of Boris Pashanski and Viktor Troicki before booking their place in the final in just under an hour.

Lindstedt and Nieminen, after running away with the first set 6-1, found the Serbian pair fight back in the second before the third seeds finally won the set 7-5 to enter the doubles final.

Results: (all semifinals) Singles: Olivier Rochus (Bel) beat Rainer Scheuttler (Ger) 6-4, 6-4, Richard Gasquet (Fra) beat Fabrice Santoro (Fra) 6-0, 6-3.

Doubles: Robert Lindstedt (Swe)/Jarkko Nieminen (Fin) beat Boris Pashanski/viktor Troicki (Srb) 6-1, 7-5.


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