Boris Becker advanced to the third clay-court final of his career Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Yugoslavia's Goran Prpic at the Monte Carlo Open.
Becker has won five Grand Slam titles on fast surfaces--three on grass at Wimbledon plus hard-court titles at the U.S. and Australian Opens. But the German has never won a tournament on clay, a slower surface that rewards patience and touch more than power.
At Monte Carlo, however, Becker has shown great improvement in his clay-court game. Against Prpic and in his previous victory over defending champion Andrei Chesnokov, Becker drew his opponents to the net with short shots and then passed them with clean winners.
"I know what I have to do know on clay," Becker said. "It's one thing to know what to do and another to do it on the court. I am doing it now."
Becker's opponent in the final will be Sergei Bruguera of Spain, who beat Horst Skoff of Austria, 6-1, 6-4, in the other semifinal.
Bruguera has a 15-1 record on clay this season, including a straight-sets victory over Becker in Barcelona two weeks ago.
"I'm going to try to play my game like I did in Barcelona," said Bruguera, No. 15 in the world.
Third-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere defeated Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez beat Nathalie Tauziat to move into the finals of a women's tournament at Barcelona Spain.
Maleeva-Fragniere was more consistent in a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Sanchez-Vicario, and Martinez scored a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Tauziat, who had upset Martina Navratilova on Friday.