Top seed Lu to clash with giant killer Montcourt for Tashkent titl

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Tashkent, Oct 18 (UNI) Top seed Yen-Hsun Lu (Chinese Taipei) will clash with giant killer Frenchman Mathieu Montcourt for the title at the USD 125,000 Tashkent Challenger Tennis here.

In the semifinals, top seed Lu accounted for fourth seed Michael Berrer of Germany 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1 in a two hr 23 minute battle to make it to his first final in three months.

Unseeded Frenchman Mathieu Montcourt kept up his fabulous run in the event registering his third consecutive upset toppling sixth seeded local star Denis Istomin 6-4, 7-6(7-4),6-1 in a two hour long tussle.

Denis Istomin , gave a good holiday crowd hopes of a convincing win taking the first set at 6-4. Istomin broke the French man in the ninth game of the set with a series of impressive forehand winners.

In the second set, both players matched each other stroke for stroke, Montcourt broke Istomin at 5-5 to go up 6-5, but Istomin came back strongly to break back and level scores at 6-6. In the tiebreak Istomin's three consecutive unforced errors proved costly as he lost the set and let Montcourt level set scores.

In the third set Montcourt seemed to have found his bearings playing the kind of tennis he has been throughout the week, breaking Istomin in the 4th and 6th games to keep up his splendid run at the event and making it to his third challenger final of the year.

In the other semifinal encounter top seeded Lu survived another three hour tussle accounting for the fourth seeded Michael Berrer 6-3,6-7 (7-5), 6-1 in a close encounter.

Lu broke the hard serving left handed Berrer in the 8th game to win the set 6-3. In the second set Berrer served exceedingly well and hit some good crosscourt winners to put pressure on Lu and win the second set 7-6 (7-5) in a tie break and force the decider set.

In the third set Lu started reading Berrer's serve better, and then onwards played intelligently to break him in the 2nd game and go up 2-0 , he held his own serve to go up 3-0, this broke Berrer mentally, allowing the Chinese Taipei player to win the set 6-1 and also make it to the finals.


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