Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gonzalez Ends El Aynaoui Run, Rafa Goes 102 for 103

Second-seed Fernando Gonzalez ended Younes El-Ayanoui's surprise run at the BMW Open in Munich as the Chilean edged past El-Aynaoui 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday, to reach his second clay final this season.

World number 15, Gonzalez seems to have found his form in Munich as he ousted Marat Safin in the quarters earlier this week, before he topped the resurgent Moroccan in the semis.

El-Aynaoui, who was playing his first semifinal since the 2003 Madrid Masters, became the oldest ATP semifinalist, at 36 years 7 months, since Jimmy Connors reached the 1993 San Francisco semis at age 40.

Gonzalez' final opponent will be Italy's Simone Bolelli, who eliminated top-seed Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Rafa Eases to Barca Final

World number 2, Rafael Nadal, almost double-bageled his semifinal opponent, Denis Gremelmayr, as he breezed past the German, 6-1, 6-0 on Saturday, to inch closer to grabbing a fourth consecutive Barcelona title.

Nadal, who has not lost in Barcelona since his second round loss to Alex Corretja in 2003, has won the 102 of his last 103 claycourt matches, with his only loss coming to Roger Federer in the Hamburg final last season.

Nadal is awaiting the winner from the other semifinal which is currently taking place between last year's Barcelona runner-up, David Ferrer, and Stanislas Wawrinka.

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