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Ferrero, Dent to clash for title

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.

Novak-Scud fight

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.

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