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Monaco To Face Nieminen In Final

Dusseldorf, Germany

Nieminen© Bongarts/Getty ImagesJarkko Nieminen will face Juan Monaco in the Dusseldorf final.

Third seed Juan Monaco will contest his first ATP World Tour final of the season at the Power Horse Cup after edging countryman Guido Pella 6-4, 7-6(8) in Friday’s semi-finals in Dusseldorf. 

"It's my first final this year, so I'm very happy," said Monaco. "I played a couple of good matches, so I've got good rhythm. We played a great match [today]. We've known each other for a long time and have had many practices together. In the second set especially, we fought until the last point."

The 29-year-old Monaco will attempt to win his eighth ATP World Tour title when he faces Jarkko Nieminen in Saturday’s final at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament. He has a 1-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Nieminen.

"It will be a different match," said Monaco. “Jarkko hits with a lot of spin, he plays from the baseline and doesn't make easy mistakes. You need good rhythm to beat him."

World No. 101 Pella was trying to claim his second Top 20 scalp of the week after ousting the No. 10-ranked Janko Tipsarevic in the second round. The qualifier almost pushed Monaco to a third set, but the Tandil native converted his third match point in just under two hours.

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Monaco improved to a 13-11 match record on the season, which includes a semi-final showing at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston (l. to Isner). Last year, he won a career-best four ATP World Tour titles, including three on clay.

The sixth-seeded Nieminen won six of the last seven games to beat Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes. The Finn trailed 0-2 in the final set, before fighting back to beat Sijsling for the third time in four meetings.

"It was quite a roller-coaster, up and down from both players," said Nieminen. "It was a crucial moment at 0-2, 15/40 [in the third set]. I think that was half a match point. But, luckily, I managed to play some of my best tennis of the day in that moment and won five games in a row.

"It's been a long time since I made a final on clay (Munich - 2003), so that's very motivating, that I can still do some things better than during the past couple of years."

The 31-year-old Nieminen came into Dusseldorf on the back of three successive defeats and has found his form to improve to a 21-12 match record on the season. The left-hander is through to his first final since winning the second title of his career at the Apia International Sydney in January 2012 (d. Benneteau).

"It will be a tough match again [against Monaco],” said Nieminen. “I think tomorrow will be slow and heavy, the weather isn't getting much warmer. So I expect to play long rallies, especially against him. He doesn't give you anything for free and he's one of the best players on clay, so I really have to play a complete and solid match."

DoublesHuey/Inglot Beat Top Seeds In Semis
Third seeds Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot reached their fourth ATP World Tour team final on Friday as they defeated top seeds Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 6-2, 6-7(2), 10-5 in 78 minutes. Huey of the Philippines and Great Britain’s Inglot reached three finals last year, winning their first title at the Citi Open in Washington (d. Anderson/Querrey).

In the final, Huey/Inglot will face Germans Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich who defeated fourth seeds Frederik Nielsen and Andre Sa 6-7(9), 6-1, 12-10 in one hour and 33 minutes. Begemann and Emmrich are through to their third final together, having won the 2012 Vienna title (d. Knowle/Polasek) and finished runners-up in Chennai at the start of this season (l. to Paire/Wawrinka). 

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