Guccione advances at Medibank International

Jan 11, 2008 - 12:44 PM SYDNEY, Australia (Ticker) -- Wild card Chris Guccione completed his unbelievable run to the finals at the $465,000 Medibank International on Friday.

The Australian was pushed to three sets for the second-straight match but still managed to claim a 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-4 victory over unseeded Czech Radek Stepanek during their semifinal match.

Stepanek was just the latest victim to fall to the hard-serving crowd favorite, who upset two seeded players en route to just his second ATP final appearance.

After an opening-round win over qualifier Alberto Martin of Spain, Guccione advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight-sets victory over sixth-seeded countryman Lleyton Hewitt.

Guccione scored another straight-sets win in the round of eight, this time outlasting fourth seed Tomas Berdych in a pair of tiebreakers to oust the Czech, who was the only seeded player to make it out of the second round at this hardcourt event.

Against Stepanek, the world No. 125 again used his big serve to seize control of the match. Guccione won 54-of-60 first-serve points, saved 4-of-5 break points and fired 13 aces to bring his tournament total to 73.

Guccione next will face unseeded Dmitry Tursunov in the final. The Russian moved on with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) triumph over unseeded Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.

Tursunov, also known for his powerful serve, blasted eight aces and saved 3-of-4 break points to advance to his fourth final - and first since Bangkok last year, when he claimed his third career title.

It was the first career win against Santoro for Tursunov, who was ousted by the Frenchman at the 2004 U.S. Open in their only previous meeting.

Saturday's final will be the first career matchup between Tursunov, the world No. 35, and Guccione.

First prize is $73,900.

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