Paris, France – David Ferrer and unheralded Jerzy Janowicz were semifinal winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the Paris Masters.
The fourth-seeded Ferrer battled through a lengthy first set and rolled in the second to claim a 7-5, 6-3 win over Frenchman Michael Llodra. The Spaniard has won nine straight matches and will play in his second straight final, having captured the Valencia Open crown last week. He also became the leader in ATP match wins this year with his 71st, surpassing Novak Djokovic's 70. Djokovic lost in the second round on Wednesday.
Janowicz, meanwhile, continued his strong play of late with a 6-4, 7-5 win over France's Gilles Simon to reach his first ATP World Tour final. The qualifier from Poland was a quarterfinalist two weeks ago at the Kremlin Cup and this week stunned U.S. Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray in the third round before taking out Janko Tipsarevic in the quarters.
Ferrer saved 10 break points against his serve in the first set on Saturday, then converted his second break-point chance against Llodra's to win it. The first set took 70 minutes to complete.
The second set lasted only 40 minutes, as the two traded early breaks before Ferrer gained a decisive second for a 4-2 lead. Llodra had not been broken in 43 service games this week before Saturday.
Janowicz used a big serve in his win Saturday, blistering 12 aces to three for Simon. The Frenchman also managed to convert just 46 percent of his first serves and didn't have a break point against Janowicz's serve. Janowicz broke serve once in each set.
Ferrer is seeking his first career ATP Masters Series title, having lost in three previous finals. He is 6-1 in finals this year and 17-15 lifetime in title matches.
Sunday's champion will pocket $620,000.