Federer, Gasquet to meet in Toronto final

August 14, 2006 01:35 PM
Richard Gasquet celebrates his win over Andy Murray in the semifinals of the Toronto Masters© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
TORONTO (AP) -- Top-ranked Roger Federer won the first five games of the match and went on to defeat Fernando Gonzalez 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, and will meet Richard Gasquet in Sunday's final.

Gasquet defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5 to become the first unseeded finalist at the tournament in three years. He will attempt to become the first Frenchman to win the tournament that began in 1881.

The 20-year-old Gasquet beat Federer in their first clash last year in Monte Carlo, but he has lost to the Swiss star four times since, including this year at Indian Wells, Halle and Wimbledon. He was excited to earn another shot at Federer, who has 53 consecutive wins in North America since 2004.

"It's a gift for me to play in the final against Federer, it will be fantastic,'' Gasquet said. "I like his game.''

Unlike Gasquet, who has dropped one set in five matches this week, Federer has had to battle to reach the final. He endured a third successive three-set match, although it started as if he would romp past 15th-seeded Gonzalez.

Federer won the first set in 20 minutes, limiting Gonzalez to 10 points. But the Chilean improved his service game, held without relative trouble and broke Federer in the last game of the second set.

Federer broke Gonzalez's serve in the seventh game of the last set and went on to wrap up the match in 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Federer won the Rogers Cup in 2004 but couldn't defend it last year because of injury.

Gasquet could win his third title in as many months. He has won 15 of his last 17 matches, including titles at Nottingham in June and Gstaad last month.

Gasquet will appear in his second Masters Series final -- he was runner-up to Federer at Hamburg last year. The Rogers Cup marks the sixth final of his career. He's won three titles -- besides the two this year, he also won Nottingham in 2005.