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Hanescu Advances To Third ATP World Tour Final; Chardy Wins Two Matches In A Day

Stuttgart, Germany

Victor Hanescu© Bongarts/Getty ImagesVictor Hanescu clinched his first ATP World Tour title at 2008 Gstaad.

Victor Hanescu will attempt to become the first player since 1985 to win the MercedesCup title double on Sunday. Ivan Lendl is the only player to have won singles and doubles titles in the same year at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament, which was first contested in 1978. 

Hanescu will come face-to-face with Jeremy Chardy, a player he beat en route to his maiden ATP World Tour title at the 2008 Allianz Suisse Open, in the singles final on Sunday. It will be the pair’s third meeting (also 2009 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells).

Hanescu held his nerve to beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 in Saturday’s semi-finals. The 27-year-old Romanian won 62 per cent of service points, saving six of 10 break points, in the two-hour and 16-minute encounter. The World No. 33 improved to 18-18 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.

Fognini, appearing in his second ATP World Tour semi-final, upset second seed Nikolay Davydenko in three sets on Friday. The No. 3-ranked Italian, at No. 67 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings behind No. 48 Andreas Seppi and No. 65 Potito Starace, hit three double faults and had his serve broken seven times. The 22 year old dropped to 14-17 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.

Chardy withstood 10 aces from Nicolas Kiefer’s racquet to beat the German favourite 6-3, 7-5, in 79 minutes, in the day’s second semi-final. Both players had contested rain-delayed quarter-final matches on Saturday morning.

Chardy, 22, will now attempt to capture his first ATP World Tour title – having finished runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the inaugural SA Tennis Open at Johannesburg in February.  He improved to 24-17 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.

The 32-year-old Kiefer, who was attempting to reach his first ATP World Tour final since the 2008 Rogers Cup, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tournament that alternates between Montreal and Toronto, defeated this season’s Belgrade finalist Lukasz Kubot, a Polish qualifier, 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, World No. 43 Chardy saved six of seven break points to beat No. 45-ranked Mischa Zverev 7-6(4), 6-1 in another rain-delayed match that was carried over to Saturday.  

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