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Benneteau Stuns Ferrer For Final Berth; Monaco Saves 1 M.P. In Nishikori Battle

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Monaco© Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012Juan Monaco will meet Julien Benneteau for the first time in the Kuala Lumpur final on Sunday.

Second seed Juan Monaco and seventh seed Julien Benneteau both recorded memorable wins on Saturday to reach the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur final.

Benneteau knocked out top seed David Ferrer, who is attempting to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 38 minutes and will look to lift his first ATP World Tour trophy (0-6 in finals) on Sunday. Benneteau converted five of his six break point opportunities and is now 25-19 on the season.

"It was difficult to beat him, because David is a very solid player," said Benneteau. "I knew I had an opportunity, as I had beaten him in the past. I am happy I did it. My chances are 50-50 for the final. Monaco is a very consistent player."

Ferrer, the ATP World Tour match wins leader this year with 62 victories (62-13 record), was trying to reach his seventh final (5-1) of 2012. Benneteau recorded his first match win over a Top 10 player since August 2011 at the US Open (d. No. 10 Almagro in the first round).

"I was okay today, in good condition, but Julien played a very good match; better than me," said Ferrer, who will play at the China Open in Beijing next week. "I had a lot of chances to break him and in the important moments he played better than me." 

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Monaco booked a place in his fifth ATP World Tour final of the year and will look to capture his seventh title (6-8 mark). The Argentine saved one match point at 2-5 in the deciding set to defeat third seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4) over two hours and 43 minutes. The 28 year old improved to a 36-15 match record on the season.

"Nishikori played very well," said Monaco. "He came back in the second set, playing better than me. The final set was up and down, he had one match point, then I fought back and I am very happy the way I finished the match. I think the crowd enjoyed it."

Monaco has won three ATP World Tour titles this year at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (d. Berlocq), the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston (d. Isner) and the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships in Hamburg (d. Haas). He also finished runner-up at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (l. to Tipsarevic).

"He just played well and I don’t think I played badly," said 22-year-old Nishikori, who also reached the Kuala Lumpur semi-finals last year (l. to Tipsarevic). "He served great and hit the ball well. I stopped hitting and playing inside the baseline."

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