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Nadal stops Gasquet, clashes with Coria

MONTE CARLO: Rafael Nadal came back to beat fellow teenager Richard Gasquet 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday at the Monte Carlo Masters, reaching his fourth final of the season and earning a shot at defending champion Guillermo Coria.

The 18-year-old Spaniard, just 15 days older than Gasquet, saved five break points midway through the third set and reached his second Masters final of the season.

Earlier, Coria beat two-time champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 7-5 to reach his first ATP final this year.

"To be in the final again is incredible," Coria said. "Even though I was down, I managed to raise my level."

Gasquet, who had saved three match points in his quarterfinal win over top-ranked Roger Federer on Friday, had 58 winners but made more than twice as many unforced errors as Nadal, 70-34. Gasquet did save one match point, but then sent a wild backhand into the net.

The French teen was only able to convert five-of-14 break points, while Nadal took advantage of seven of his 12 chances.

Three superb backhand winners helped Gasquet take a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Nadal won the next five games as the Frenchman received treatment for a sore back. He lost the set with an unforced error into the net.

Paes-Zimonjic in final

The fifth-seeded Leander Paes and Nenad Zimonjic beat the fourth-seeded Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the doubles final.

At Charleston, former World No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne reached the final of the Family Circle Cup with a 7-6(4), 7-5 win over 17-year-old Tatiana Golovin of France.

Dementieva came from a set down for the second day running to beat eighth seed Schnyder and reach her first final of the year.

The results (semifinals):

Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal bt Richard Gasquet 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3; Guillermo Coria bt Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 7-5.

Doubles: Leander Paes/Nenad Zimonjic bt Wayne Arthurs/Paul Hanley 6-3, 6-4.

WTA-Family Circle Cup: Justine Henin-Hardenne bt Tatiana Golovin 7-6(4), 7-5; Elena Dementieva bt Patty Schnyder 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. — Agencies

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