Gulbis v Garcia-Lopez in final
Ernests Gulbis (Gallo Images)
St. Petersburg - Latvia's sixth seed Ernesto Gulbis will play veteran Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Sunday's final of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg.
The 25-year-old Gulbis, the last seeded player left in the field, earned a 6-3, 6-3 victory over unheralded Pole Michal Przysiezny in his semi-final on Saturday.
Garcia-Lopez, who is 74th in the world, earned his final spot after beating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-1.
In the first semi, the first set went with serve until the eighth game when Gulbis, ranked 36th in the world, made the vital break-through.
Gulbis broke early to take control of the second set and although Przysiezny, playing in his first ATP semi-final, gamely fought in his bid to level, Gulbis broke again in the ninth game to advance into the fourth final of his career.
"It wasn't easy to play so early but luckily I managed to wake up in time and win," said the outspoken Gulbis, who made headlines earlier this season by accusing the big four of men's tennis - Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - of being "boring"
"I'm set to win here but I expect the final to be a really tough clash."
The 30-year-old Garcia-Lopez, who is seeking a third career title, said his game had been "much more difficult" than the 6-1, 6-1 scoreline let on.
"The final will me even more difficult," the Spaniard predicted.
I hope I'll be ready to battle for the title tomorrow."
Results from the sixth day of the ATP St Petersburg Open on Saturday (x denotes seeding):
Ernests Gulbis (LAT x6) bt Michal Przysiezny (POL) 6-3, 6-3
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Joao Sousa (POR) 6-1, 6-1