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Haas, Malisse set up final clash

Tommy Haas moved into his first final since 2004 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vince Spadea on Saturday.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 13:16 IST

Tommy Haas moved into his first final since 2004 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vince Spadea on Saturday night at the International Tennis Championships.

Haas, seeded fourth, will face defending champion Xavier Malisse in the title match. The third-seeded Malisse beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.

"I should play every week at Delray," Malisse said. "I just like the courts here. There's a good crowd, a nice atmosphere and a good stadium. I feel good here, at ease."

Haas, who is 10-2 this year, improved to 6-1 in his career against the eighth-seeded Spadea. Haas' only losses this year were to top-ranked Roger Federer in the semifinals at Doha and the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The singles semifinals were delayed for more than four hours by rain. The dried court then needed a repair after tournament officials discovered a small area had bubbled up near the baseline. "The long delay is not something you look forward to," said Haas, who is ranked 30th. "I hung around and didn't know what to do. You just have to try and deal with it."

Spadea, of Boca Raton, reached the semifinals for the third consecutive year at the tournament he considers his hometown event. He reached the final here in 2004.

After trading early breaks in the first set, Haas scored another service break on a second break point in the eighth game when Spadea netted a soft backhand.

Haas served out the set at love in the ninth game, coming up with a service winner on the final point. In the second set, the German broke serve in the fifth game to establish a comfortable lead in the match.

Haas has won seven career titles, most recently at Houston and Los Angeles.

Garcia-Lopez upset top seed Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 13:16 IST