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Tennis: Magnus on brink of Norman conquest.

MAGNUS Norman is set to become the first Swede since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win the French Open following a superb semi-final exhibition yesterday.

Norman, the Champions Race leader and one of the most in-form players on the men's circuit, crushed Franco Squillari in straight sets in a disappointingly one-sided clash.

In tomorrow's final the Swede, who has dropped just one set this year at Roland Garros, takes on either tournament favourite Gustavo Kuerten or highly-rated Spaniard Juan-Carlos Ferrero.

Though he is the current leader of the ATP Champions Race, Norman is far from a household name and acknowledges that fans might be surprised to see him in the final.

But he said after his easy 6-1 6-_-4 6-3 defeat of Argentine Squillari: "I reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and now I am in the final here - I have had a great year."

Third seed Norman complained earlier in the tournament about being shunted to outside courts, but all eyes will be on him on Centre Court tomorrow.

Former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez takes on Mary Pierce in today's women's final at Roland Garros.

Pierce has a busy schedule as she will also take part in a doubles final after partnering Martina Hingis to victory over Nathalie Tauziat and Barbara Fusai in the semi yesterday

Pierce and Hingis, the third seeds, meet 10th seeds Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Argentina's Paola Suarez in the final tomorrow.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2000
Words:241
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