Chennai - Serbian world No 9 Janko Tipsarevic and rising star Milos Raonic from Canada both cruised into the ATP Chennai Open final on Saturday with two emphatic semi-final wins.
Top-seeded Tipsarevic ended Japanese qualifier Go Soeda's winning streak with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in 79 minutes on the centre court of the Nungambakkam tennis stadium.
In the final he will meet Raonic, the ATP's newcomer of the year in 2011 when he rose from No 156 to 31 in the rankings, who took out second seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 6-4 in just 72 minutes.
The six feet, five inches (196cm) tall Raonic rifled in 17 aces against Almagro to enter the final as the only player in the draw not to have dropped a set.
"There was nothing I could do to stop him," said Almagro, ranked 10th in the world.
"He is one of the best servers in the game and one of the best players on hard court. There was nothing wrong with my game, he was just too good for me today."
Almagro, a clay-court specialist, had come to Chennai this year to get in some hard-court practice ahead of the season's first Grand Slam the Australian Open, which starts on January 16.
"I think I had a good week here," said the Spaniard, who will now compete in Auckland next week.
The 21-year-old Raonic, seeded fourth, refused to bask in the glory of his semi-final win: "Its another match. What one did in the tournament before that will not matter," he said.
"There is a lot of difference in being a finalist and winning a tournament. You get the recognition when you win. I just want to focus on my game and do what I do well."
Raonic, who went into the semi-final having lost his last five matches against top ten players, said he was pleased with his performances so far.
"My game is suited to hard court and I feel very comfortable on it," he said. "I think I have served well all week and also returned well. The hard work I have put in is paying off.
"As a young player, the main aim is to develop and improve my game. I have the potential to play with the top players. The rankings will follow."
It will be Tipsarevic's first final in Chennai. The Serbian, who broke into the top ten for the first time last year, has lost in the semi-finals in the previous two editions.
The Serb broke the 120th-ranked Soeda twice in the first set and then secured another break in the seventh game of the second set to win comfortably.
Tipsarevic declined to speak to the media till after his doubles match scheduled for later on Saturday night.
Soeda, who came through three qualifying matches and stunned defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarters, admitted he lost to the better player in what was his first semi-final appearance on the tour.
"It was a good lesson for me... I tried my best, but he played really good tennis," he said, still remaining optimistic.
"I will go happy from here because I won six matches."
Results from the $450,000 ATP Chennai Open at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium on Saturday (x denotes seeding):
Milos Raonic (CAN x4) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP x2) 6-4, 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x1) bt Go Soeda (JPN) 6-1, 6-4