Spain's David Ferrer advanced to the final of the Paris Masters with a 7-5, 6-3 victory Saturday over France's Michael Llodra and will square off against Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz for the title.
Ferrer, who has now reached his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, started slow and had to stave off 10 break points in the early going before snagging the first set with a break of serve in the 12th game.
In the second set, the world No. 5 raced off to a 4-0 lead as Llodra's body started to break down from the long week of tennis. The attacking Frenchman managed to get one break back but Ferrer finished off the match by retrieving a drop shot and hitting a forehand winner.
"I feel good. I'm very happy because I'm in the final," Ferrer said. "Tomorrow, it's going to be a very difficult match because my opponent, he's playing very, very good. But I will try to do my best for to beat him."
Next up for Ferrer in Sunday's final will be Janowicz, whose dream run continued with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Gilles Simon in the first semifinal, a match the Polish sensation controlled with his booming serves and forehands.
"When I had match point today, I felt a little bit strange. I had chicken skin," Janowicz said.
"I was a little bit nervous during this match point, but this was really an unbelievable feeling. I just said to myself before this match point to not change anything, just to play the same game as I played before. I did this. I finished the match with a drop shot," the 21-year-old added with a laugh.
The six-foot-eight Janowicz, who came into the event ranked No. 69, stunned world No. 3 Andy Murray of Scotland two days ago and followed up that win with a 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 ret. upset Friday over ninth-ranked Serb Janko Tipsarevic, who retired due to illness.
The final will be the first meeting between Ferrer and Janowicz.
The 30-year-old Ferrer has won 17 career singles titles and reached four Grand Slam semifinals.
He also finished runner-up at the 2007 year-end championships and has reached three other ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals during his career: Shanghai and Monte Carlo in 2011 and Rome in 2010.
But, despite consistently being ranked in the world's top 10, he has never won one of tennis' biggest tournaments.
Sunday will likely be his best chance, considering he has been able to avoid the game's greatest players this week.
World No. 1 Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament, citing various minor injuries, while Novak Djokovic and Murray - the second- and third-ranked players, respectively - were upset in the early rounds.
The other dominant player in recent years, Spain's Rafael Nadal, now ranked No. 4, has been off the tour for months due to a knee injury.
The Paris Masters is one of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which are the biggest tournaments on the men's tennis calendar after the four Grand Slams and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals. EFE