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Youzhny on a roll

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DREAM RUN: Mikhail Youzhny, who felled Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, jubilates after beating Robin Soderling in the semifinals of the Dubai Open.
DREAM RUN: Mikhail Youzhny, who felled Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, jubilates after beating Robin Soderling in the semifinals of the Dubai Open.

Bhupathi-Stepanek pair in final

DUBAI: Mikhail Youzhny, one of the three hottest players on the ATP Tour at the moment, continued his career-best start to a season by reaching yet another final.

The 24-year-old, who won the Rotterdam title last week, reached the final of the Dubai Open on Friday, with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Robin Soderling.

On Thursday, the Russian had upset No. 2 seed Nadal 7-6(5), 6-3, capitalising on an apparent incorrect call by the Hawk-Eye electronic line-judging system to overwhelm the rattled Spaniard.

Meanwhile in doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi and Radek Stepanek beat Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 to enter the final.

Top-ranked Roger Federer dropped a set for the second time in three matches, but prevailed over Serbian teenager Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 to reach the semifinals.

Federer committed 52 unforced errors and needed more than two hours to subdue Djokovic on the Aviation Club courts.

Fifth-seeded Haas, winner last week in Memphis, extended his winning streak to 11 matches as he overwhelmed Belgium's Olivier Rochus 6-0, 6-2, while Soderling held off 2002 champion Fabrice Santoro to win 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-0.

The results:

At Dubai (Dubai Open): Semifinals: Mikhail Youzhny bt Robin Soderling 7-5, 6-2;

Quarterfinals: Tommy Haas bt Olivier Rochus 6-0, 6-2; Roger Federer bt Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3; Mikhail Youzhny bt Rafael Nadal 7-6(5), 6-3.

Doubles: Semifinals: Mahesh Bhupathi & Radek Stepanek bt Paul Hanley & Kevin Ullyett 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.

At Las Vegas (Tennis Channel Open): Round-robin: Marat Safin bt Igor Kunitsyn 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5; Lleyton Hewitt bt Thomas Johansson 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; James Blake bt Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 3-1 (retd.); Feliciano Lopez bt Tim Henman 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4; Jan Hernych bt Gustavo Kuerten 6-4, 6-4; Sam Querrey bt Paul Goldstein 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Juergen Melzer bt Paul Capdeville 6-2, 6-2.

At Acapulco (Acapulco Open): Quarterfinals: Men: Agustin Calleri bt Jose Acasuso 6-3, 6-4; Juan Ignacio Chela bt Nicolas Massu 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5; Carlos Moya bt Nicolas Almagro 7-6(3), 6-3; Juan Carlos Ferrero bt Gaston Gaudio 6-4, 6-1.

Women: Flavia Pennetta bt Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-4; Emilie Loit bt Gisela Dulko 5-7, 6-4, 6-1; Sara Errani bt Tathiana Garbin 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-3; Julia Schruff bt Melissa Torres 6-1, 6-4.

At Doha (WTA Qatar Open): Quarterfinals: Justine Henin bt Patty Schnyder 3-6, 6-4, 7-5; Svetlana Kuznetsova bt Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-4; Jelena Jankovic bt Katerina Bondarenko 6-3, 6-3; Daniela Hantuchova bt Martina Hingis 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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