Tennis: Pioline chases Czech cheque

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The Independent Online

Pioline chases Czech cheque

France's Cedric Pioline beat Spain's Emilio Alvarez 6-3 6-7 6-1 yesterday to reach the final of the $365,000 Czech Open in Prague. In today's final, the fourth seeded Frenchman will face the third-seeded Czech Bohdan Ulihrach who had little trouble in dismissing Fabrice Santoro 6-4 6-2 in the other semi-final. Pioline took control of the match early, twice breaking the Spaniard in the first set. Pioline squandered several chances in the second set, failing to capitalise on three match points before succumbing 9-7 in a tiebreak. But the 24-year-old Alvarez, ranked 89 in the world, tired in the third set, committing a slew of unforced errors. "It looked like he tired in the third set and I just kept trying to force the play," Pioline said.