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Nieminen upsets Djokovic in Sydney

  • Story Highlights
  • Novak Djokovic beaten in semifinals of the ATP Tour event in Sydney
  • Djokovic goes down in straight sets to Jarkko Nieminen of Finland
  • Nieminen will play David Nalbandian of Argentina in Saturday's final
  • Lleyton Hewitt paired with Fernando Gonzalez in Australian Open first round
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(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic's preparations for the Australian Open suffered a further setback as he was upset by Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in the semifinals of the ATP Tour event in Sydney.

Nieminen celebrates his victory over a lackluster Djokovic in Sydney.

Nieminen celebrates his victory over a lackluster Djokovic in Sydney.

Nieminen, who won 6-4 7-6 in blustery conditions, will play Argentina's David Nalbandian in Saturday's final.

Nalbandian earlier accounted for Richard Gasquet of France 6-4 6-3 in their semifinal.

Djokovic, who opens his defense of the Australian Open next week against a qualifier, stumbled to a first round defeat to Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in Brisbane last week and was below his best again.

Left-hander Nieminen was winning for the first time in three attempts against the Serbian star who misses the chance to move above Roger Federer to number two in the world rankings with the defeat.

Nieminen told the ATP Tour official Web site that he had nothing to lose against Djokovic.

"Today I just came to the court with the attitude that I had nothing to lose. I lost so many times against top 10 players, even during my best year, which was 2006.

"I just played point after another and didn't think about winning or losing. I just enjoyed every moment out there and I felt from the beginning that I have chances to beat him," he added.

In the draw for the opening grand slam of the season, Australian star Lleyton Hewitt will play Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the pick of the men's first round matches at Melbourne Park.

13th seed Gonzalez reached the final of the Australian Open in 2007, while former world number one Hewitt is bidding to win his home grand slam for the first time.

World number one Rafael Nadal opens against Christophe Rochus at Melbourne Park while Federer plays Andreas Seppi of Italy.

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