Bangkok, Sept. 27 (Reuters): Top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero blunted the serving power of Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic to win 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday and set up a final with American Taylor Dent at the Thai Open.
Dent reached his second final of the year after knocking out Finnish fifth seed Jarkko Nieminen 7-6, 6-2.
Ljubicic was a shadow of the player that blasted 22 aces to upset home favourite Paradorn Srichaphan on Friday and put in a lacklustre performance against his Spanish opponent.
With Ljubicic struggling to find his rhythm, the world No. 1 broke twice early to claim the first set. Ljubicic briefly rallied in the second, when he grabbed a break to go 2-1 ahead with a down-the-line winner, but immediately dropped serve to love in the fourth game.
Ferrero later hinted that he may skip January’s Australian Open.
Top seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic will face Mark Philippoussis in the final of the Shanghai ATP meet. The ‘Scud’ disposed of Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-4 in 67 minutes after Novak downed Wayne Arthurs 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-2.