Marcel Granollers from Spain reached the Croatia Open final by defeating top-seeded countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1 on Saturday.
Granollers will play either second-seeded Croat Marin Cilic or defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov from Ukraine for his fourth career title.
Fourth-seeded Granollers broke twice to win the first set. The 16th-ranked Verdasco overcame the slow start in the second set, reaching 5-3 but Granollers broke back and forced a tiebreaker. Verdasco, the 2008 Umag champion, opened the third set well, breaking immediately. But the 24th-ranked Granollers broke back and never lost a game to the end of the semifinal.
"Today I played against a very good player, Fernando is one of the best in the world," Granollers said. "That makes me even happier, I am very pleased with the way I played today."