NEWS > Sports
Top seed Ljubicic faces Blake in Bangkok Open final
2006-09-30 19:10:25 Xinhua English

BANGKOK, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Top seed Ivan Ljubicic remained unbeaten as he entered the final of the Thailand Open tennis tournament, beating local hero Paradorn Srichapham by straight sets on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Croatian will face James Blake in Sunday's final after the American pushed aside Russian Marat Safin in the other semifinal.

Ljubicic, who ranked third in the world, demolishing Srichapham 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and seven minutes with 17 aces, and was close to a place in November's season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.

American Blake, the world number nine, earlier denied Safin his first tournament final in more than a year, by staging a comeback to win 3-6, 6-4,7-6 (7-3).

"My serve is my big weapon, that's where I earn my wins," said Ljubicic, winner in Chennai and Zagreb, "When you have a weapon you'd better use it."

"Blake will be counting on his forehand, that's a shot that I have to stop," said the Croatian of his opponent in the final.

Paradorn, who beat Briton Tim Henman from 5-2 down in the quarterfinal final set, was competing in a second straight semi-final after achieving the last four at Beijing.

Blake, winner in Adelaide, Las Vegas and Indianapolis, broke Safin in the second set for 3-2, saying that "when he's on his best he can give everyone fits."

Safin, the former world number one and two-time Grand Slam winner last played a final against Federer at Halle, Germany, in June, 2005, just before a knee injury began to plague his game.

Safin, who lifted his ranking from 104 during the summer to its current 55th after the knee injury, said he had no luck in the struggle lasting nearly two hours.

"It slipped away," said the 26-year-old. "I was up a break in the third and it slipped away, he broke back and then the tiebreak was a disaster." Enditem

English premier league soccer summaries  
Zhang Yining eases to semifinals at Women's World Cup  
Zhang Yining makes it three out of three  
Woods ups lead to 5 at The Grove  
Legendary football striker Romario to play in Australia  
Top seed Dememtieva shown door out at Luxembourg  
Wang Hao leads SVS to 2nd win in European Champions League  
Raul left out of national team for October matches  

SINA English is the English-language destination for news and information about China. Find general information on life, culture and travel in China through our news and special reportsúČor find business partners through our online Business Directory. For investment opportunities with SINA, please click the link "Investor" below.
| About SINA | Investor | Media Kit | Comments or Question? |
Copyright © 1996-2006 SINA Corporation, All Rights Reserved