TENNIS - ATP/WTA

Federer reaches his first final of the year

2 min

World number one Roger Federer will face Russia's number two seed Nikolay Davydenko in his final of 2008 at the Estoril Open. In the Charleston women's tournament, US player Serena Williams ended France's Alize Cornet's run.

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LISBON - World number one Roger Federer recovered from a set down to beat unseeded German Denis Gremelmayr 2-6 7-5 6-1 on Saturday to reach his first final of the year at the Estoril Open.

The 26-year-old Swiss top seed struggled to counter Gremelmayr's powerful baseline game but pulled clear with a series of aces in the third set.

He will now face the number two seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia who beat France's Florent Serra 6-2 6-2 in the other semi-final.

"I think Denis played a fantastic match," Federer, who is recovering from his worst start to a season since 2000, told reporters.

"I read reports that I struggled yesterday and I only lost five games. Today was much closer. But I'm used to it. It's almost bigger news when I lose than when I win. I guess that's a nice problem to have."

Federer, a 12 times grand slam winner, hit 10 aces in windy conditions to move closer to claiming his 54th ATP title.

He faces tough final on Sunday against red-hot world number four Davydenko, who has won his last 11 matches and clinched the Estoril title in 2003.

In the women's final, second-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko will be seeking her third title when she faces 2004 finalist Iveta Benesova of Czech Republic.

The unseeded Benesova beat Estonia's Maret Ani 6-2 6-1 while Kirilenko beat sixth-seeded Czech Klara Zakopalova 2-6 6-3 7-5 in Saturday's semi-finals.

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