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Newz Forum: OTHER: TENNIS: Popp, Rusedski advance to Hall of Fame final

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posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 04:58 AM
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Seventh-seeded Alexander Popp reached the finals of an ATP event for the first time Saturday, defeating Cyril Saulnier 6-4, 7-6 (5) at the Hall of Fame Championships.

Popp will face unseeded Greg Rusedski on Sunday in the grass-court tournament.

Rusedski beat eighth-seeded Antony Dupuis 7-5, 7-6 (10) in the Saturday's semifinal.

Popp, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon last month, was down a break in the second set before he rallied back.

"The first time I ever played on grass, I lost 6-0," Popp said. "Now, every season, as soon as I start playing on grass, if it doesn't work out I don't worry about it."

He trailed 4-5 in the tiebreaker before winning the final three points. Saulnier, the fifth-seed, flubbed a service return, giving Popp a 6-5 lead, then hit a forehand shot into the net on match point.

"I tried to stay in the match," Saulnier said. "I tried to fight all the way because I wasn't playing too good."

In the other match, Rusedski broke in the final game of the first set. He failed on three match points before hitting a backhand drop shot that just eluded Dupuis for the victory.

"For me, this was a good match because once you get down to the final four, everyone is playing well," Rusedski said.

Rusedski will be looking for his 14th career title in the final.

Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg and Dorothy "Dodo" Cheney will be inducted into the Hall of Fame before Sunday's final.

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