Nieminen to meet Llodra in Adelaide final
Nieminen saw off another Frenchman, sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-4 and the unseeded Llodra ended the run of Australian wildcard Joe Sirianni 6-3 7-6.sports Updated: Jan 05, 2008 12:48 IST
Third seed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland will take on Frenchman Michael Llodra in the final of the Adelaide International after both came through their semi-finals in straight sets on Saturday.
Nieminen saw off another Frenchman, sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-4 and the unseeded Llodra ended the run of Australian wildcard Joe Sirianni 6-3 7-6.
With temperatures again close to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), Nieminen succeeded where Lleyton Hewitt had failed in the previous round by taming the Frenchman with a consistent display.
With Tsonga looking short of inspiration, Nieminen cruised through the first set and one break, in the fifth game of the second set, was enough to seal a place in his eighth ATP Tour final.
"He is a great player," Nieminen said in a courtside interview.
"I just tried to be solid, serve really good percentages, really mix up the tempo and it worked really well today."
Tsonga said Nieminen had simply outplayed him.
"I have no excuses, Jarkko was just better than me today," the Frenchman said.
Sirianni, a 32-year-old wildcard entrant, was appearing in his first ATP Tour semi-final but found Llodra too good.
The Frenchman eased through the first set but had to save two set points late in the second set before winning the tiebreak 10-8.
"It's been a dream come true," Sirianni said of his week's efforts.
"Hopefully it will continue in the next couple of weeks, in tournaments in Sydney and Melbourne."
Llodra said he was thankful the match had not gone into a third set.
"I'm very happy to win in two sets, with these conditions," he said.
The only previous meeting between Nieminen and Llodra ended in a 6-4 6-4 win for the Finn, in Stockholm in 2006.