Boris Becker is proving he's more than a fast-court specialist.
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 win 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 is the hottest player on clay this season with a 15-1 match record, including a straight-sets victory over Becker in Barcelona two weeks ago.
Becker, who lost his only previous clay-court finals to Alberto Mancini in 1989 and Juan Aguilera last year, broke Prpic to take a 2-1 lead in the first set. The Yugoslavian came back to even it at 3-3, but Becker won the next three games as Prpic made a lot of unforced errors.