Pune - Top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia crashed out of the ATP Tour's Maharashtra Open on Friday, losing in three sets to lowly-ranked Frenchman Gilles Simon at the semi-final stage.
Cilic, the world No 6 and overwhelming pre-tournament favourite, comfortably took the first set 6-1, but Simon stunned the 2014 US Open champion to win the next two 6-3, 6-2.
Simon, the world No 89, will play Kevin Anderson in Sunday's final after the South African overcame France's Benoit Paire in a hard-fought encounter lasting almost two and a half hours.
Anderson lost the first set 6-7 (8/6) before narrowly taking the second 7-6 (7/2).
The 6-foot-8 in big hitter, seeded second in the hard court event, than claimed the third 6-1 as Paire started to tire.
The Maharashtra Open is being held in the western Indian city of Pune and has total prize money of $500 000.
It is viewed as a key warm-up event for the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 15.
Results from the ATP Maharashtra Open in the Indian city of Pune on Friday.
Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Marin Cilic (CRO x1) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
Kevin Anderson (RSA x2) bt Benoit Paire (FRA x4) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/2), 6-1