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Sunday September 30, 2012
By Shamshul Fitri
KUALA LUMPUR: Frenchman Julien Benneteau stormed into the final of the Malaysian Open tennis championships by upsetting top seed and world No. 5 David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
World No. 34 Benneteau went into the match knowing he had a chance as he has a good record against the Ferrer – the Spaniard edging the Frenchman 4-3 in head-to-head clashes.
And it was a sweet win for Benneteau as it was his first success over a top-10 player this year.
“The scoreline may look like I won easily but it was a tense match,” said Benneteau.
“I knew I had a chance as I had beaten him before.”
Ferrer, who won his semi-final spot after a marathon three-setter against Dutchman Igor Sijsling on Friday, said he was physically up for the game.
“I wasn’t tired because I’m still at my physical best.
“Julien just played better and took his chances well.
“It was a long second set despite the score so it wasn’t exactly easy for him,” said Ferrer, who will play in the China Open in Beijing next week.
Benneteau plays Juan Monaco of Argentina in the final today. Monaco, the world No. 12, defeated a spirited Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) in a marathon match lasting two hours and 42 minutes.
Monaco dominated the first set after Nishikori hurt his ankle but the Japanese battled back to take the second. The decider was a close one with Monaco finally prevailing in the tie-break.
“I lost a bit of rhythm after Nishikori received treatment towards the end of the first set.
“When it came down to the decider, I had to force myself to stay in the match,” he said.
Monaco trailed 3-5 in the third set but the Argentine refused to surrender and levelled at 6-6 to force the tie-breaker.
“If I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago I would have lost the match.
“But now, I never give up until the last ball,” he said.
In the doubles semi-finals, Alexander Peya (Aut)-BrunoSoares (Bra) defeated Daniele Bracciali (Ita)-Marcelo Melo (Bra) 7-6
(10-8), 6-1 to book a spot in the final against British pair Colin Fleming-Ross Hutchins..
Singles: Juan Monaco (Arg) bt Kei
Nishikori (Jpn) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4),Julien
Benneteau (Fra) bt David Ferrer (Spa) 6-4,
Doubles: Alexander Peya (Aut)- Bruno
Soares (Bra) bt DanieleBracciali (Ita)-
Marcelo Melo (Bra) 7-6 (10-8), 6-1.
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