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Lacko Advances To First Final In Zagreb; Youzhny Wins

Zagreb, Croatia

Youzhny© PBZ Zagreb IndoorsMikhail Youzhny reached his 18th ATP World Tour final Saturday in Zagreb.

No. 3 seed Mikhail Youzhny reached the PBZ Zagreb Indoors final, defeating Michael Berrer 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The 39th-ranked Youzhny won 74 per cent of his first serve points, and converted both of his break point chances in the second set to beat Berrer in one hour and 29 minutes. He evened his FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against the German to a 1-1 mark.

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Youzhny advances to his 18th final, where he holds a 7-10 final record. His last title came in Kuala Lumpur in 2010. "When you're on the tour, you're not thinking about when you last played in a final or when you last won a tournament," said Youzhny. "I've tried to improve and move forward. Last year did not go well for me, so we'll see what happens this year."

On Sunday, the Russian will play unseeded Lukas Lacko, who knocked out 2007 champion Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 7-6(3). "When you play in a tournament, you don't think about losing," said Lacko. "You think about winning, so I've gone through every match with a good mood, trying to play my best tennis."

Lacko rallied from a 1-4 deficit in the second set, and maintained an early mini-break lead in the tie-break to progress into his first ATP World Tour final. He defeated the sixth-seeded Baghdatis in one hour and 47 minutes, handing the Cypriot his first loss in nine matches at the ATP World Tour 250 event.

The Slovakian is coming off a third-round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal) and will attempt to overturn a 0-3 record against Youzhny, having dropped all of their meetings in 2010. "It was my first season on the ATP World Tour, so I wasn't as experienced. But every time I played a good, close match," assessed Lacko. "He's a smart player but it's good that I've played against him as I know what to expect. I need to try and change what happened in those those three matches and play the match my way."

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