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Alexandr Dolgopolov has claimed he will look to continue his “aggressive” style of play against Rafael Nadal in the final of the ATP Rio Open after he stunned second seed David Ferrer in Saturday’s semi-final clash.
The unseeded Ukrainian and world number 54 is an unlikely finalist in the event in Brazil after he ended Ferrer’s eight-match winning streak to reach his first ATP World Tour final since October 2012 with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 success over the Spaniard.
Dolgopolov will face world number one Nadal in the final later on Sunday and he is determined to continue with the same game-plan to try and pull off a major shock against the ‘King of Clay’.
Nadal is a formidable opponent on the clay courts, but Dolgopolov said on www.atpworldtour.com: “I’m happy with the way I’m playing and happy to be in the final.
“My game plan is always to be aggressive. I attack and try to play aggressive. I was a bit better at the volleys and that made the difference, I think.”
Nadal showed he is not unbeatable as he almost missed out on the final as he saved two match-points before defeating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 2-6 6-3 7-6 (12-10) victory in two hours 46 minutes.
And he is 1.95 to win the final with a -5.5 handicap, while Dolgopolov can be backed at 1.89 with at +5.5.
Nadal has admitted that he still has not quite fully recovered from a back injury sustained in the Australian Open last month, although insisted that it had no affect on his scratchy performance on Saturday.