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Federer's Unbeaten Run Ends

Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page D02

Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak -- the longest in men's tennis since 1984 -- ended yesterday at the hands of Richard Gasquet, an 18-year-old qualifier playing in just his fourth match of the year on the ATP Tour.

Gasquet saved three match points in a 6-7 (7-1), 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) victory to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals.

Top-ranked Roger Federer reacts to dropping a point against qualifier Richard Gasquet, ranked No. 101, in the Monte Carlo Masters. (Pascal Deschamps -- Reuters)

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"He's definitely got all the tools," the Swiss star said. "It's a matter of consistency. That's what I was struggling with in the beginning."

Gasquet, ranked 101st, will face Spain's Rafael Nadal, another 18-year-old, in today's semifinals. Nadal, seeded 11th, defeated fourth-seeded Gaston Gaudio of Argentina, the French Open champion, 6-3, 6-0.

Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain and defending champion Guillermo Coria of Argentina also won to reach the semifinals.

Federer entered the match with a 35-1 record this year, the best ATP start since John McEnroe was 39-0 in 1984. His only previous loss was to Marat Safin in the Australian Open semifinals.

"Of course, it's frustrating," Federer said. "He gave me a chance to come back in the match, which I should have taken. But he deserved to win."

-- From News Services

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