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Corretja To Face Puerta in Final

July 16, 2000

GSTAAD, Switzerland (AP) _ Top-seeded Alex Corretja defeated Argentina’s Gaston Gaudio in his second of two matches Sunday, securing his place in the final of the $600,000 Swiss Open where he will meet eighth-seeded Mariano Puerta.

Corretja, who beat No. 7 Marcelo Rios in the quarterfinal in the morning, returned in the afternoon to stop Gaudio 7-5, 7-5 in the rain-plagued tournament.

Taking advantage of a brief interval between downpours, Puerta gained a berth in Monday’s final with by ousting defending champion Albert Costa, the fourth seed, 6-4, 6-3.

Both Corretja and Puerta will be seeking their second title of the season, the Spaniard having won in Indian Wells, Calif., and the Argentine in Bogota, Colombia.

Organizers were forced to postpone the final until Monday after heavy rain throughout the week left the schedule severely backlogged.

The delay will leave Corretja with a tight schedule. The Spaniard will return home to prepare for the Davis Cup semifinal against the United States on the weekend.

The 1998 Gstaad winner, Corretja began the day by defeating Rios 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-3, while Gaudio stopped sixth-seeded compatriot Franco Squillari, who fell ill during the match and retired while trailing 6-1, 4-1.

It was because Corretja played both his quarterfinal and semifinal on Sunday that organizers were forced to delay the final until Monday, since ATP Tour rules only allow players to contest two singles matches a day.

Rain completely washed out the opening day Monday and allowed only eight matches over Tuesday and Wednesday. Though the skies remained mostly clear Thursday, rain returned in force Friday, the tarps covering the clay-courts remaining undisturbed all day.

More rain Saturday permitted the completion of only half of the scheduled matches. Desperate, organizers were forced to borrow a couple of courts from the nearby Palace Hotel.

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