Mathieu to face Seppi in Swiss final

Updated: 15 July 2007 10:43 IST

Fifth-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu overcame qualifier Radek Stepanek in straight sets and Andreas Seppi beat wild card Igor Andreev to reach the final.

Mathieu to face Seppi in Swiss final

Gstaad:

Fifth-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu overcame qualifier Radek Stepanek in straight sets and Andreas Seppi beat wild card Igor Andreev on Saturday to reach the final of the Swiss Open.

Mathieu won his semifinal 6-3, 6-4, while Seppi needed a tiebreaker in the final set before winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) to reach his first ATP final.

Mathieu could become the second Frenchman to win the tournament, following Richard Gasquet's victory here last year.

Mathieu, who won his first title in five years at Casablanca in April, lost to Andy Roddick in the fourth round of Wimbledon last week to reach a career-high ranking of No 28.

Stepanek is battling back after missing half of last season with a neck injury, and has lost some 60 spots in the world rankings to a five-year low of 127. The 28-year-old Czech, who is engaged to five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis, played three qualifying matches and another three in the main draw without dropping a set.

Seppi will be the first Italian to play in the tournament title match since Adriano Panatta in 1976.

The 23-year-old Seppi has struggled lately, slumping from a career-high ranking of No 51 in February 2006 to his current position at No. 111.

His record is 12-16 this season. Gstaad marks the first ATP tournament where Seppi has won more than one match.

The last time Seppi reached the semifinals was at Nottingham in June 2006, and the win was his first over Andreev in five matches.

Andreev, the 2004 finalist who turned 24 on Saturday, was seeking to become the first wild-card entry to reach the Gstaad final since Guy Forget of France in 1994.

The Russian missed half of 2006 because of surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left knee.



Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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