Johansson, Dent in Adelaide final

Associated Press

Adelaide, January 8:

Second-seeded Joachim Johansson of Sweden and American Taylor Dent will contest the final of the Australian men’s hardcourt tennis championships following straight-set semi-final wins on Saturday. Johansson beat Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-1, 7-6 while Dent defeated Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela 6-1, 6-1.

Johansson won six straight games to take the first set in 24 minutes. Rochus had a service break in the fifth game of the second set, but Johansson broke back in the next game to set up a tiebreaker. With Rochus leading 5-4 in the tiebreaker and serving, a Johansson groundstroke, which looked to have landed past the baseline, was called in, allowing the Swede to level at 5-5.It appeared to bother Rochus, who lost the remaining two points.

HK Challenge HONG KONG: Elena Dementieva cruised past defending champion Venus Williams 6-3 6-2 to win the Hong Kong’s Champions Challenge tennis tournament.

Dementieva of Russia, who is ranked sixth in the world, broke Williams three times in the first set, while losing her service once. Williams put up a stiff fight when 5-2 down in the second set, saving three championship points before losing the match at the Victoria Park tennis court. ASB Classic AUCKLAND: Slovakia’s Katarina Srebotnik beat doubles partner Shinbou Asagoe of Japan 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 to win the ASB Women’s Classic final. The unseeded Srebotnik fought back from a set and 4-0 down to beat the fourth-seeded Asagoe in two hours and 20 minutes for her third WTA title.

Asagoe had dominated the singles match early on as both players tried to shake off the effects of rain-delayed semifinals played earlier in the day. Srebotnik beat fifth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France while Asagoe beat American Amy Frazier.

The singles finalists later teamed to beat Leanne Baker of New Zealand and Francesca Lubiani of Italy 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles final. The doubles crown was Srebotnik’s eighth and Asagoe’s sixth.

Qatar Open

Doha: Roger Federer eased past Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final of the Qatar Open, where the world’s top-ranked player will meet sixth seed Ivan Ljubicic.

Playing with the kind of sublime form that has brought him three easy victories in previous rounds here in Doha, Swiss top seed Federer defeated Davydenko in 64 minutes. Federer’s semi-final win was his 20th in a row since his second-round ouster from the Athens Olympics last August.

In first semis, Croat Ljubicic beat Spain’s Albert Costa 6-3, 7-6 to advance to his second consecutive Qatar Open final. Ljubicic, who played an excellent baseline game against the unseeded Spaniard, is chasing his second career title, having won an ATP Tour event at Lyon in 2001.

Australian Hardcourt

GOLD COAST: Second-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland lost the first set in 17 minutes to local favourite Samantha Stosur before rebounding for a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 win in the Australian women’s hardcourt final. It was Schnyder’s ninth career WTA victory.

Schnyder, serving for the match at 6-5, trailed 0-40 but held her serve after three deuces. She broke Stosur in the sixth game of the second set to take a 4-2 lead before levelling the match at a set each following an overrule by a linesman.

The baseline linesman overruled his initial call on a Stosur winner that would have given the Australian a vital break.

But chair umpire Scott Ray ordered the point to be replayed and Schnyder went on to hold her service.