Fifth-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3 6-2 Saturday to set up a World Tennis Tournament final against Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who earlier beat qualifier Nicolas Mahut of France 6-7 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.
The unseeded Klizan saved five match points in his quarter-final win against Roberto Bautista Agut, and this time saved three more against Mahut in a match lasting 2 hours, 45 minutes.
“It was an incredible moment. I never thought I could win, because Nicolas was playing great tennis,” Klizan said.
“Maybe I was lucky, but I tried to fight until the last point. I think the crowd enjoyed the show.”
It would have been hard for fans not to be entertained, given that Klizan celebrated with a somersault after breaking Mahut when he was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, and he then saved two more match points in the tiebreaker.
“The first part of the match was quite boring for me, and for the crowd, so I said ‘Let’s have some fun and enjoy this game,” Klizan said.
Monfils had seven aces in the match, but needed to save three break points in the first set.
He took complete control after breaking Kohlschreiber in the fifth game of the second set to qualify for his first final since the Open 13 in Marseille last year.
“I covered the court very well and hit my backhand well today. Sometimes luck is on your side, and everything works,” Monfils said.
The 29-year-old Monfils, who is 5-17 in career finals, will bid for his sixth career title, while Klizan goes for his fourth.