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  Friday, 8 June, 2001, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Corretja breaks French hearts
Alex Corretja serves strongly on the way to victory
Alex Corretja came through despite his patchy form
Alex Corretja (Spa) bt Sebastien Grosjean (Fra) 7-6 6-4 6-4

Alex Corretja has dumped out local favourite Sebastien Grosjean in straight sets to reach the French Open final.

Despite an indifferent performance, the Spaniard proved too wily on the crucial points and will play Gustavo Kuerten for the Roland Garros crown.

In a peculiar match, with mistakes too often dictating the pace of play, Corretja began slowly, claiming a thoroughly undeserved opening set.

Both players had their serves broken in a scrappy start and after going to a tie-break, Corretja quietened the crowd by storming through to win 7-2.

Sebastien Grosjean impresses at the net
Sebastien Grosjean impresses at the net

Grosjean was wounded, and fired back to grab the opening three games of the second set, much to the delight of the spectators.

The Frenchman continued to play enterprising tennis but errors were his undoing as Corretja claimed the next five games.

The battle continued with Corretja relying not on his own winners, but on mistakes from his opponent - the set was soon wrapped up 6-4.

Corretja finally began to exhibit his range of ground shots in the third set with the entertainment levels rising accordingly.

At 1-1 Corretja grabbed a vital break and he rarely looked in danger of losing the advantage as he headed towards victory.

Grosjean's fans got ever-noisier as their man battled away - he continued to show his flair but it was not to be.

Corretja stumbled on and his final place was completed, winning the set 6-4.

On this showing, though, there will have to be huge improvements if he is to have any hope of overcoming Kuerten in the weekend's showdown.

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BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"The Spaniard's patience was duly rewarded"
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