SPORT

Djokovic to meet Wawrinka

VIENNA: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka reached the final of the BA-CA Tennis Trophy here on Saturday.

Djokovic defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals, while Wawrinka downed Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-1.

It will be the seventh final of the year for the third-ranked Serb, who has won four titles this year and six overall.

Karlovic in final

At Stockholm, Thomas Johansson saved five match points to upset defending champion James Blake and reach the final of the Stockholm Open.

The Swede, the winner here in 2000 and 2004, recovered from a first set in which the American outplayed him to triumph 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3) and set up a meeting with Ivo Karlovic in Sunday’s final. The Croatian giant server had earlier disposed of German Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3.

Flawless game

Twice champion Blake, who had never previously lost a match in Stockholm, played near flawless tennis in the first set, breaking Johansson to 3-1.

After he had held his serve to wrap up the first set, Blake’s game got weaker in the second as Johansson improved. The decisive third set proved to be a thriller as the top-seeded American was back to his best and he returned superbly on Johansson’s serve but never capitalised on his break points.

Leading 5-4, Blake had his first matchpoint at 30-40 on Johansson’s serve but the Swede fought his way out of trouble.

At 6-5, Blake earned three more match points on Johansson’s serve thanks to two brilliant backhands, one a passing shot down the line followed by a great return.

Holding his nerve

The Swede held his nerve with some astounding serving, most notably a second-serve ace that took him back to deuce. Blake got one more match point after that but failed to convert it.

Roared on by his home crowd, Johansson took command of the tie-breaker with a gutsy backhand return for a 1-0 mini-break. He broke Blake again to 4-0 and eventually won 7-3.

Serena in final

Fourth seed Serena Williams of the United States and Russia’s Elena Dementieva both won their semifinals in the Kremlin Cup here on Saturday.

Williams defeated tournament top seed Sveltana Kuznetsova 7-6(2), 6-1 in one hour 28 minutes to gain revenge for last week’s defeat in the quarterfinal at Stuttgart, while Dementieva saw off compatriot Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0.



The results: At Vienna (ATP BA-CA Trophy): Semifinals: Novak Djokovic bt Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3; Stanislas Wawrinka bt Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-1.Quarterfinals: Juan Carlos Ferrero bt Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Novak Djokovic bt Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(2); Stanislas Wawrinka bt Feliciano Lopez 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-4; Andreas Seppi bt Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-3.

At Stockholm: (ATP Stockholm Open): Semifinals: Ivo Karlovic bt Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3; Thomas Johansson bt James Blake 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3). Quarterfinals: James Blake bt Jarkko Nieminen 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-2; Tommy Haas bt Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-3; Ivo Karlovic bt Arnaud Clement 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-6 (7); Thomas Johansson bt Mario Ancic 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).

At Bangkok: (WTA Bangkok Open): Semifinals: Flavia Pennetta bt Venus Williams 6-4, 7-6(8); Chan Yung-jan bt Zi Yan 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Quarterfinals: Chan Yung-jan bt Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-3; Yan Zi w/o Vania King.

At Moscow (ATP & WTA Kremlin Cup): Women: Semifinals: Elena Dementieva bt Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0; Serena Williams bt Sveltana Kuznetsova 7-6(2), 6-1.

Men: Quarterfinals: Michael Berrer bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, retired; Nikolay Davydenko bt Igor Andreev 7-5, 7-5. — Agencies

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