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Tomic Reaches First Final; Anderson Saves 2 M.P. In Sydney SFs

Sydney, Australia

Anderson© Getty ImagesKevin Anderson beat Julien Bennteau for the first time in three attempts.

On Saturday, Bernard Tomic will attempt to become the first Australian winner of the Apia International Sydney since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

World No. 64 Tomic advanced to his first ATP World Tour final with a 7-6(10), 6-4 victory over third-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi in 85 minutes on Friday evening.

He has a 1-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against his final opponent Kevin Anderson. The pair met in October 2011 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters with Tomic winning 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3.

“It's about time I really got to one of these finals," said Tomic. "I had a lot of chances - not a lot, but I had a few tournaments where I had quarters in the past year and lost in tight matches. To do it here is a great privilege and honour, to do it here in Australia. It's going to be a huge final for me tomorrow, and I'm going to give my heart out there tomorrow to do as best as I can to win.”

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Earlier in the day, Anderson saved two match points to edge Julien Benneteau 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(8). The win marked Anderson’s first victory in three encounters with Benneteau.

Anderson relinquished a break lead in the third set and then found himself facing match point at 5-6, advantage Benneteau. The 36th-ranked Anderson fired a second serve ace and subsequently forced a decisive tie-break. Anderson led 6-5, before Benneteau won the next two points to earn his second match point. The defending finalist was unable to captalise and Anderson went on to close out the hard-fought win in two hours and 23 minutes, finishing with 18 aces.

“The first set was pretty tough," said Anderson. "I thought the conditions were really quick. It was really important in the second set just to try to take care of my serve games. Fortunately I got a break and then kept it going to the third. It got quite tricky at 4-3 when I was broken back. I sort of started to get quite tired. The last few games were definitely a battle out there.”

The South African is the first player from his country to reach the final in tournament history.

He is seeking to win his third ATP World Tour title, looking to add to hard-court triumphs at Johannesburg in 2011 (d. Devvarman) and Delray Beach (d. Matosevic) last year.

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