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Montanes Claims 200th Win To Set Haase Final

Kitzbuhel, Austria

Montanes© GEPA PicturesAlbert Montanes clinched his 200th victory on Friday.

World No. 50 Albert Montanes upset top seed Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 7-5 in a rain-interrupted clash Friday at the Bet-At-Home Cup Kitzbühel to reach his 10th ATP World Tour final. Victory marked the Spaniard’s 200th tour-level win.

After winning the first set with a double-break advantage, the unseeded Montanes twice squandered a break lead in the second set before breaking again in the 11th game and closing out victory after one hour and 32 minutes. Rain suspended play briefly at the end of the first set and after seven games in the second set.

The 30-year-old Montanes has a 5-4 record in ATP World Tour finals and is bidding to win his first title since capturing his second of two titles in 2010 at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Monfils). After losing his first four finals, Montanes has been victorious in his past five, beginning with Amersfoort in 2008 (d. Darcis).

In the final, Montanes will face World No. 53 Robin Haase, who reached his first ATP World Tour final as he edged Brazilian qualifier Joao Souza 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4. The 24-year-old Dutchman had beaten second seed Feliciano Lopez and sixth seed Andreas Seppi on Thursday to earn his place in the last four, and backed it up by holding his nerve to beat Souza in two hours and nine minutes.

"I have played well this year, but suffered a few tough losses," said Haase. "I knew that I needed to give myself some time and I'm happy that it worked well so far this week. Now I'm here in the final and that feels great. I like it here. My serve is a bit more efficient in the altitude. The crowd was great today. Many Dutch people came to support me."

Haase made a strong start as he broke serve three times and dropped just one point on serve to claim the opening set against the No. 110-ranked Souza. The Brazilian hit back in the second set, though, failing to serve it out in the 10th game but recovering to level the match in a tie-break. Haase quickly halted Souza’s momentum in the third set, breaking early before going on to close out victory.

Coming into Kitzbuhel, Haase had compiled a 16-19 match record on the season and had not featured in an ATP World Tour semi-final since Amersfoort in 2007 (l. to Eschauer).

"Of course I hope to take my good form to the final and play well again," noted Haase. "I hope that I can keep up my good record from Challenger finals."

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