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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 10:18 GMT
Impressive Gonzalez destroys Haas
By Piers Newbery

Fernando Gonzalez
Gonzalez will play in his first Grand Slam final on Sunday
Fernando Gonzalez gave an outstanding display as he demolished Tommy Haas to reach his first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.

The Chilean, seeded 10th, won 6-1 6-3 6-1 to set up a final against world number one Roger Federer on Sunday.

Gonzalez broke serve immediately and hit 17 winners in a superb first set.

Early breaks also followed in the second and third sets as the power and all-court game of Gonzalez simply overwhelmed 12th seed Haas.

After Federer's stunning win over Andy Roddick on Thursday, many people had all but handed him the title.

But if Gonzalez can repeat the form that has seen him hammer James Blake, Rafael Nadal and now Haas, he could test the Swiss despite a 0-9 head-to-head record.

In my last four matches I've been playing great tennis

Fernando Gonzalez

"Roger is the number one by far," Gonzalez said afterwards.

"But on Sunday we only have to play one match, there's only one match left in this tournament.

"I've lost many times to him but I am playing much better than the last time I played him."

Gonzalez, 26, showed the power he has always possessed against Haas, allied to the variety that has been introduced by new coach Larry Stefanki.

The Chilean hit 42 winners, three unforced errors and did not face a single break point as he blitzed Haas in one hour 31 minutes.

606: DEBATE
Alan

The tone was set when a trademark forehand winner helped Gonzalez to break in the opening game, and further breaks followed in games five and seven.

Haas was overrun in the first set but contributed to his downfall in the second, double faulting on break point in game two.

Alongside the power there was plenty of variation from Gonzalez, whose much-improved backhand slice and net play kept Haas constantly on the move.

He served out the set with ease and then, for the third successive set, broke immediately as he raced to victory.

"Today was a really good day," said Gonzalez.

"In my last four matches I've been playing great tennis, I'm enjoying it a lot and I'm playing all over the court.

"I was very calm at the important moments."

Haas said: "Pretty much everything he touched seemed to go his way.

"I felt at times I didn't play badly, I actually played pretty good tennis. I just have to hand it to him."

SEE ALSO
Gonzalez v Haas as it happened
26 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Men's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Women's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis


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