Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov is through to his first final in 14 months after dispatching Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in Sydney.
Dimitrov ploughed through the world No.38 in the first set, losing just two points on serve, but the big-serving Muller found his range in the second set with 12 aces.
However it wasn’t enough to overcome the 24-year-old Dimitrov, who staved off three break points to seal his first appearance in a final since losing to Tomas Berdych at Stockholm in October, 2014.
It was the second match Dimitrov played on Friday, after rain forced him to complete his quarter-final win over Alexandr Dolgopolov earlier in the day.
The Bulgarian will now meet either Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili or Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in Saturday night’s final on Ken Rosewall arena.
Earlier, Australian No.1 Bernard Tomic controversially retired from his quarter-final against Gabashvili, citing food poisoning.
A disinterested Tomic was trailing 6-3 3-0 when he pulled the plug.
The world No.17 was seen telling chairman Mohamed Lahyani that his ranking would only go up one spot if he made the Sydney final, and that he was “looking for Melbourne, not looking for this.”
He later laughed off the remarks.
“I told him, yeah, two matches today, sick, win the tournament, go up one spot,” he said.
“Doesn’t sound good for me, does it?”