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Wawrinka to meet Federer in Swiss Kooyong final

STANISLAS Wawrinka set up a final clash with Swiss compatriot Roger Federer in the Kooyong Classic after a tight 7-6 6-7 6-4 victory over Chile's Fernando Gonzalez today.

World number two Federer advanced to Saturday's final in the eight-player invitational event when he beat Spain's Fernando Verdasco in three sets yesterday.

Wawrinka, who partnered Federer to the gold medal in the doubles at last year's Beijing Olympics, took the first set in a tiebreak before the 2007 Australian Open finalist levelled the match in the second set, winning the second tiebreak 7-1.

Both players held serve throughout the deciding third set before Wawrinka broke Gonzalez in the 10th game to seal victory in a little over two hours.

The 23-year-old Wawrinka, who has looked to Federer as a mentor on the tour, acknowledged the challenge he would have in the final. Federer has won the title just once, in 2005.

"He is one of the best players ever in the world so it's always tough," Wawrinka told reporters. "But tomorrow is going to be great, I think, because it's a final.

"We want to win the match. I'll try to play my best tennis, of course, because it's preparation for the Australian Open.

"But's not the most important match to beat Roger in the exhibition."

Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, who beat Ivan Ljubicic yesterday, won his second game of the progression-relegation tournament with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Croatia's Marin Cilic.


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