Gaudio Advances to Monte Carlo Semis
Argentine player Gaston Gaudio has never won an ATP Tour title in five years as a professional, but advanced to the semi-finals of the $2.95 million Monte Carlo Masters Series event Friday.
Gaudio beat fast-rising Spanish star Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-2 to earn a meeting on Saturday with either ninth-seeded Alex Corretja of Spain or Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty.
The win was a milestone for 21-year-old Gaudio, who made his first Masters Series semi. He equaled his career-best ATP Tour performance after also making the semis in Auckland and Santiago this year.
Ferrero was given the ATP Tour Newcomer of the Year award earlier in the week and had made the last eight without dropping set - but he found the wild-haired Gaudio an altogether tougher proposition than his earlier opponents.
The Argentine trailed 3-4 in the first set before reeling off five straight games as he added the occasional serve-volley point to his baseline game.
Gaudio held his serve throughout the match and maintained his record of not having dropped a set in the 64-draw tournament, which is the first major clay court event in the lead-up to the French Open at Roland Garros.
The tournament is the third in the Masters Series, following Indian Wells and Miami, but only a handful of big names made it through the first two rounds here and the name is something of a misnomer -- AFP.
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