UMAG, Croatia: Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas extended his run of shocks by beating number one seed Fabio Fognini to reach the rain-delayed Croatian Open final.
He will meet defending champion and number two seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, who disposed of third seed Marin Cilic, to get a place in the final.
Cuevas, who claimed his maiden tour title win at the Swedish Open this month, defeated top seed Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and four minutes.
The world number 61 Cuevas raced to a 3-0 lead after two breaks and wrapped up the first set in less than 30 minutes.
He got an early break to go 2-0 up in the second set, but Fognini, competing in his fifth semi-final of the year, secured a first break for 2-2 and again to go 4-2 up and lead the match.
But Cuevas then broke Fognini’s serve, won his own and with a convincing game and another break won the second set and the match.
Robredo defeated 2012 winner Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 in style..
Cilic made the first decisive break of the first set to go 5-3 up. But Robredo broke for 5-4 and then took a tie-break to wrap up the set in a tie-break and then the second set in only 35 minutes.
The Croatian had problems with poo r serves and unforced errors.
“The first set which saw a big fight was decisive,” said Robredo.
“After I’ve won it, Cilic had neither the force nor concentration for a better game in the second set.”
Torrential rain on Saturday forced the postponement of the semi-finas.
Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina won the Baku Cup for the second straight year yesterday, beating fellow rising star Bojana Jovanovski in straight sets.
The 19-year-old Ukrainian, who dropped only one set in a week of action in the Azerbaijan capital, beat the 22-year-old Serb 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).
Svitolina, ranked 37th in the world, took only 22 minutes to seal the first set.
But neither player dropped a game in the second and so the Ukrainian took the title on a tie-break.
Svitolina raced to a 4-0 lead and won with her first match point against her opponent ranked 40th on the WTA list.