Almagro to face Gasquet

Spain's Nicolas Almagro returns the ball to Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver during their semi-final...

Spain's Nicolas Almagro returns the ball to Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver during their semi-final match on July 31, 2010. (REUTERS/Michael Buholzer)

THE SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

GSTAAD, Switzerland - Nicolas Almagro of Spain and France's Richard Gasquet were semifinal winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

The second-seeded Almagro earned a 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, while the seventh-seeded Gasquet advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Kazakhstan's Yuri Schukin.

Almagro needed to save a set point in the first-set tiebreaker before winning it, but Gimeno-Traver saved a pair of break-point chances against his serve in the second set and converted one of his two to even the match. Almagro then opened a quick 3-0 lead in the third and closed out the match in two hours to advance to his second ATP final in the past three events.

The world's 18th-ranked player notched his sixth career title and first of 2010 two weeks ago by stunning crowd favorite Robin Soderling in the final at the Swedish Open.

Almagro is 6-2 all-time in ATP finals, all of which have come on clay.

Gimeno-Traver was denied his first-ever ATP final for the second straight event. He lost to Gael Monfils in the semifinals of the Mercedes Cup two weeks ago.

Gasquet will appear in his third final of the year. He lost to Marcos Baghdatis in Sydney back in January and beat Fernando Verdasco in Nice just before the start of the French Open.

Saturday's match against Schukin, who was playing an ATP semifinal for the first time after Friday's stunning quarterfinal win against top-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, was not too difficult for the 47th-ranked Frenchman.

A break in the eighth game enabled Gasquet to take the first set and he broke again for a 4-3 lead in the second, then finished the match in just 88 minutes.

Gasquet is 6-7 all-time in ATP finals and won this tournament back in 2006.

Almagro won the lone previous meeting with Gasquet, rallying from a set down to capture a second-round match in Acapulco back in February.


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