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Sunday, July 20, 2008


Darcis back in Dutch Open final


Defending champion Steve Darcis continued his run of success at the Dutch Open on Saturday.
The third-seeded Belgian is back in the final of the red clay event after defeating top-seeded Frenchman Marc Gicquel 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 7-5 in the semi-finals.
Darcis will will try to run his win streak here to nine matches and make it back-to-back titles on Sunday when he meets fifth-seeded Albert Montanes, a 6-1 6-3 winner over fellow Spaniard Oscar Hernandez in the other semi-final.
Outside of winning a championship in Memphis - where he did not face a top 40 player - it has been a lacklustre year for the 56th-ranked Darcis, who entered this event just 12-14 this campaign.
Much like his run in Memphis, the 24-year-old is taking advantage of a limited field here and is now on the verge of his third career title.
Before toppling Gicquel, the highest ranked player in the field at 52, Darcis needed only to get by 122nd-ranked Alberto Martin and world number 115 Christophe Rochus. This will be his first career meeting with Montanes, who is ranked 63rd.
Montanes, 27, has never won a title and heads into Sunday's final with an 0-4 record in championship matches.

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