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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 21:53 GMT
Rusedski falls to Federer
Switzerland's Roger Federer hits a backhand
Federer now meets Italy's Davide Sanguinetti
Click here for Saturday's results from Milan

Greg Rusedski has failed in his bid to make the final of the Milan Indoor tournament after a straight sets defeat by Switzerland's Roger Federer.

In a tight game, Federer, the reigning champion, took both sets by tiebreak to win 7-6 7-6.

He will now meat Italy's Davide Sanguinetti, who beat unseeded Frenchman Nicolas Escude 3-6 6-3 6-2 in the other semi-final.

Rusedski will be disappointed at losing a match which did not contain a single break of serve.

I just needed a bit of luck in the first set, but I had a bad bounce on the set point
Greg Rusedski

But in Federer, he was playing a man already in good form - the 20-year-old Swiss won at Sydney last month.

Rusedski actually had the first set point when leading 6-5 in the first tie-break, but he hit the net when the play opened up for him to hit a cross-court winner.

After saving a set point, Rusedski made an error which allowed Federer a set point on his own serve - an opportunity he took.

The second set followed the same pattern as the first - serves the dominant weapon with little in the way of truly entertaining play.

Rusedski faced some tricky moments at 5-5, but he managed to keep his serve steady to save two Federer break points.

At 6-5 down, Federer produced a love-service game and allowed Rusedski no chances in the tie-break, which he won with great ease.

In the other semi-final, Sanguinetti quickly found himself one set behind as French Davis Cup hero Escude began strongly.

Nicolas Escude
Escude could not build on his first set momentum

But Escude could not keep up his momentum, despite breaking in the third game of the second set for 2-1.

Sanguinetti broke straight back and stole another game off the Frenchman's serve to take the set 6-3.

The Italian enjoyed two breaks of serve in the decisive third set to make his first final since losing to Australian Mark Philippoussis in Memphis last February.

"I felt frustrated after Sanguinetti broke me in the third set," said Escude, whose big serve backfired at key moments.

"Sanguinetti played one of his best matches. I was also put into trouble by his low, slow shots."

Escude perhaps did not think it possible that I could fight back after he broke me in the second set

Sanguinetti insisted in Milan he is ready to rejoin Italy's Davis Cup team for the upcoming match with Denmark at Ancona.

Along with several countrymen he had boycotted recent Davis Cup matches in a feud with the Italian tennis federation.

Sanguinetti, ranked 87th in the ATP rankings, beat top-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, and fifth seed Younes El Ayanoui of Morocco to reach the semi-final.

Milan Indoor tournament semi-final results:

Roger Federer (Swi - 2) beat Greg Rusedski (GB - 7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4)
Davide Sanguinetti (Ita) bt Nicolas Escude (Fra) 3-6 6-3 6-2

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