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  Friday, 7 June, 2002, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Costa wins Spanish battle
Albert Costa reached his first French Open final
Costa won on his third match point
Albert Costa (Spa) bt Alex Corretja (Spa) 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3

Albert Costa claimed a four-set victory over his Spanish compatriot Alex Corretja to reach his first Grand Slam final at the French Open.

The 26-year-old triumphed in three hours and 10 minutes and will meet another Spaniard, Juan Carlos Ferrero in Sunday's final.


It's a dream to be in the final
Albert Costa

The 20th seed proved the stronger in a match packed with long rallies to take his third straight victory over Corretja, who failed to hit top form.

"It's a dream to be in the final at Roland Garros," said Costa, whose fortunes have taken a turn for the better after three years without a title and dropping to a low of 40th in the world last year.

"I've played a few finals, now it's his turn," said five-time semi-finalist Corretja.

"I was a little tired and physically I was slower. He was better today," he added.

Corretja was runner-up at Roland Garros last year
Corretja struggled in the opening two sets

Corretja got off to the better start winning the first two games, but two breaks by Costa gave him the set 6-3 in 40 minutes.

In the second set, it was Costa who rushed to a 2-0 lead but Corretja battled his way back, winning three games in a row.

A weary Corretja missed two points to draw level at 5-5, allowing Costa take the second set 6-4.

Costa looked to be on his way to a straight-sets win when he led 2-0 in the third, but Corretja rallied to take five straight games, winning the set 6-3 to give him a glimmer of hope.

Costa made no mistake at the start of the fourth set when he led 3-0 after Corretja needed treatment for a cut hand following a fall.

And despite letting two match points slip, he finally managed to wrap up the win on his own serve.

Costa, who reached the quarter-fianls at Roland Garros in 1995 and 2000 is bidding for a first title in three years having last won in Kitzbuhel in 1999.

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