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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 August 2006, 06:20 GMT 07:20 UK
Federer pushed hard by Gonzalez
Roger Federer (right)
Federer has picked up where he left off at Wimbledon
Roger Federer battled his way to a 6-1 5-7 6-3 win over Fernando Gonzalez at the Toronto Masters to reach his 17th straight final.

He was tested by the Chilean 15th seed but extended his winning hardcourt run in North America to 53 matches.

Standing between Federer and a 40th career title is Richard Gasquet, who reached his second Masters Series final with a 6-2 7-5 win over Andy Murray.

"I struggled in the second and third... it was a tough match," said the Swiss.

Federer is playing in his first event since claiming his fourth consecutive Wimbledon crown.

"After a one-month break and no tournaments, to come back and be in the final is all I could ask," he added.

Federer who can match Ivan Lendl's record of 18 consecutive finals set in 1981-82 next week in Cincinnati.

Gasquet has lost all three of his meetings with the world number one this season, including a first round thrashing at Wimbledon.

But the Frenchmen can take heart in being a member of an exclusive club of four players to have beaten him in the last two seasons.

Gasquet, 20, shocked Federer in their first-ever meeting in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo last year.

"It's really hard to win against Roger but I have no pressure," he said.



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