Gonzalez stays hot to destroy Haas

Chilean Fernando Gonzalez continued his rich vein of form to demolish German Tommy Haas 6-1 6-3 6-1 on Friday to reach the Australian Open final.

The 10th seed produced another sublime performance against 12th seed Haas to advance to his first Grand Slam final in which he will play world number one Roger Federer on Sunday.

Gonzalez won the first 11 points of the match and clinched victory in 91 minutes with a brilliant cross-court backhand as Australia Day fireworks erupted over Rod Laver Arena.

”Today [Friday] was really good,” Gonzalez said in a court-side interview. ”The last three or four matches I have been playing really great tennis. I am really enjoying it.”

Gonzalez romped through the first set in 28 minutes, battering Haas with the brilliant serving and coruscating forehands, which had already seen off Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and second seed Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park.

The Chilean broke Haas again when the former world number two double-faulted, and he sealed the second set with a crisp forehand volley.

Gonzalez, who conjured up 42 winners and made only three unforced errors in the match, broke serve again in the first game of the third set and clinched victory on his first match point.

The South American’s destruction of Haas drew comparisons with Federer’s equally devastating semifinal victory over sixth seed Andy Roddick on Thursday.

”Roger is number one by far,” Gonzalez said. ”But this is only one match, I am playing well myself and I will look forward to playing him.”

Gonzalez became only the second Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam final after Marcelo Rios, who advanced to the Australian Open final in 1998. — Reuters

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