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LONG ISLAND Aug. 24, 2002
Corretja Falls to Chela Curse Again
Chela has beaten the Spaniard three times on hard court this year

© David Lobel/Visionlink Communications

Chela had two set points to win the first set 6-0.

Juan Ignacio Chela won through to his second hard court final of the year Saturday when he recovered from a second-set lapse against Alex Corretja to win 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 at the TD Waterhouse Cup at Long Island.

Chela, who is seeking his first hard court title, meets Thai shotmaker Paradorn Srichaphan in the final.

Chela, who beat Corretja in Scottsdale and at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells earlier in the year, has now beaten Corretja three consecutive times on hard court this year.

Chela, raced away with the first set 6-2, winning the first five games and having two sets points to win 6-0. But Corretja rallied bravely in the second set and responded to Chela's brutal forehand with aggressive stroke making of his own, winning the set 6-2. Chela secured the pivotal break in the third set at 3-3.

Thai shotmaker Paradorn Srichaphan advanced to his second consecutive ATP final when he received a walkover from defending champion Tommy Haas.

Haas was advised by tournament physician Dr. David Dines not to play after his arm went into spasms after a 15-minute practice session in the afternoon. Haas has developed tendonitis in forearm muscles by using those muscles to overcompensate for existing shoulder tendonitis.

What the Players Said:

Chela: "I think it's better for me to play him on hard court - I fell more comfortable against him on this surface. At the beginning of the match he didn't look focused but then he started to play better. I dropped my service twice in the second set and after the set I was a little worried.

"I prefer to be playing a lot of matches before the US Open - it gives me confidence. The courts [during the hard court season] have not been so fast, and I've been playing a lot more on the surface, and I'm getting better and better."

Corretja: "I felt confident at the beginning of the match but the shots didn't go in the right place. In my opinion I had control of the match even when I was down 0-5 - I was making more mistakes than he was hitting winners. I had the momentum after winning the second set but then I started to make some easy mistakes. He broke me once and that was it. I played a very bad game at 3-3 and that's why I was really, really upset because I had a chance to go to the final."

Haas: At the beginning of the week I didn't know if I would be able to play, but it shows how much I like to compete and that I tried to forget the pain. I came from a set down in all my matches this week to reach the semis. I'm icing it, having ultrasound and taking anti-inflammatories but it's still a little swollen. I'm doing everything to get to better, so hopefully it will be right for next week.

"The last MRI I had showed tendonitis in the shoulder and I've been overcompensating with my elbow and forearm. I'm living day by day and I'm looking forward to playing the Open - I'm playing good tennis and feeling confident."

Srichaphan: I've been playing a lot since last week and this is good for me to rest and get ready for the final. It's like a day off for me. The last couple of months I've been playing consistently and being patient. I've been working hard off the court as well."

well i think this was the right decision by Tommy b/c his body needs rest for the US Open next week, where he is a title contender. get better, Tommy!;)

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Good decision. I was a little disappointed not to have a favorite in the final, which wasn't all that spectacular, I don't think. But Tommy did the right thing. He needs to rest, so he can kick some bootie in New York and not prove my early predictions a total disaster. ;) :D
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