They call him "Speedy" Gonzalez, and he showed why.
Tenth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez put on another brilliant display of tennis Friday, sprinting all over the court to rip winners at will as he dominated Germany's Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the Australian Open final.
It was a performance reminiscent of top-ranked Roger Federer's rout of Andy Roddick in the other semifinal a night earlier. Gonzalez was nearly flawless, leaving the capacity crowd gasping and the 12th-seeded Haas stunned and frustrated.
"It was a really good day for me," Gonzalez said. "I have been playing great tennis. I am enjoying it a lot."
Gonzalez had zero unforced errors in the first and third sets and only three for the match "One was really stupid," he said to go along with 42 winners that accounted for more than half of his 82 points.
For Haas, it was overwhelming.
"I played actually pretty good tennis," Haas said. "Every time I tried to do something differently, he came up with the answer. That's quite frustrating. I just have to hand it to him, tip the hat, say that's too good. Nothing I could have done."
Gonzalez, who had never reached a Grand Slam semifinal before, will face Federer on Sunday evening in the championship match.
"Roger is No. 1 one by far," Gonzalez said. "But there is only one match left. I have lost many times to him, but I know that I am playing much better than the last time that we played. I'm going to try to do the same thing that I've been doing.
"I'm playing the most important match in my life. He has to lose sometime."
The third-seeded pair of Zimbabwe's Cara Black and South Africa's Liezel Huber ended the run of Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-jung to win the women's doubles title 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1. The Taiwanese team had gotten into the tournament on a wild-card entry.
Huber missed a shot at a second championship when she and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe lost in the mixed doubles semifinals 6-2, 7-5 to Daniel Nestor of Canada and Elena Likhovtseva. In the other semifinal, Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus ousted Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-2, 6-3.
The women's final on Saturday pits top-seeded Maria Sharapova, the reigning U.S. Open champion, against two-time champion Serena Williams, unseeded while coming back from a bad knee that limited her to four tournaments last year.
Music from a nearby concert drifted into packed Rod Laver Arena on a brisk Australia Day evening Friday. Fireworks followed the match, but Gonzalez provided plenty before then, reports AP.
Once known for a weak backhand and a fragile psyche, Gonzalez has improved both significantly in recent months and has won over thousands of fans here with his powerful serve and forehand.
He was excited about the match statistics.
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