Federer, Lopez reach finals at Dubai

March 6, 2004 at 4:52 PM
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 6 (UPI) -- Defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland reached the finals of the $1 million Dubai Tennis Championships Saturday with a win over Jarkko Nieminen.

Federer improved his 2004 match record to 15-1 with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 win over his Finish opponent. Federer has won all five career meetings with Nieminen and has yet to lose a set.

The only seeded player to reach the semifinals, Federer is making his first appearance since his 16-match winning streak was stopped in the Rotterdam quarterfinals two weeks ago.

Federer can become the first back-to-back winner of this event when he plays Feliciano Lopez of Spain in Sunday's final.

Lopez defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the other semifinal. Lopez advanced to his first ATP final after losing in the opening round of his previous three events this year.

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