Juan Monaco reached the final of the Power Horse Cup by beating Guido Pella 6-4, 7-6 (8) on Friday.
Monaco is seeded third and the highest-ranked player left in the field. But he needed nearly 2 hours to overcome his left-handed, 101th-ranked opponent, who was playing in his first semifinal match on the tour after going through qualifying.
Pella saved two match points — and wasted one set point — before whipping a backhand into the net to end the grueling battle from the baseline. Monaco finished with eight aces, while Pella had one.
The 19th-ranked Monaco will play either sixth-seed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland or Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands.