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Gulbis To Face Garcia-Lopez In St. Petersburg Final

St. Petersburg, Russia


Sixth seed Ernests Gulbis will look to win his fourth ATP World Tour title when he faces Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the St. Petersburg Open final. The Latvian dismissed Poland’s Michal Przysiezny 6-3, 6-3 in Saturday’s semi-finals.

"I’m happy with my form this week," said Gulbis. "I arrived here late from Davis Cup and to be honest I was quite tired when I got here. So I’ve tried to win my matches quickly and to lose as little energy as possible along the way. 

"I’ve had to adapt my game a little bit to the surface, maybe playing more defensive than normal. It’s going OK, so let’s see what happens tomorrow in the final."

Gulbis will contest his second final of the season, having triumphed as a qualifier at the Delray Beach Open in February (d. Roger-Vasselin). The 25 year old is enjoying a career-best season, having compiled a 33-15 match record and recorded three Top 10 wins. He is looking to win his first ATP World Tour title outside the U.S.A.

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Gulbis won 75 per cent of his service points and broke serve three times as he claimed the semi-final victory in 85 minutes. World No. 112 Przysiezny was appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final at the age of 29, having beaten top seed Fabio Fognini and seventh seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Gulbis has a 1-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Garcia-Lopez. They last met three years ago in the Bangkok quarter-finals, when Garcia-Lopez won in three sets. The Spaniard earned his place in the final with an emphatic 6-1, 6-1 victory over World No. 89 Joao Sousa of Portugal. He needed just 80 minutes advance, saving the four break points he faced and converting five of his 12 opportunities on Sousa’s serve.

"Despite the scoreline of course it was not easy," said Garcia-Lopez. "We had a lot of long rallies at the beginning. I took the chance to break him in the second game and played my game very well. I was very solid the whole match and he made some mistakes because of my game.

"Tomorrow is always special as a final. Gulbis has a good serve and on this surface it will be difficult to break him. I hope I can do it. It would be really nice to win another tournament."

The No. 74-ranked Garcia-Lopez is through to his fifth ATP World Tour final and is looking to win his first title since triumphing in Bangkok in 2010 (d. Nieminen). The 30 year old was runner-up earlier in the year at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest (l. to Rosol).

Inglot/Istomin Reach Doubles Final
First-time pairing Dominic Inglot and Denis Istomin reached the final with a 6-4, 5-7, 11-9 victory over Aslan Karatsev and Dmitry Tursunov. The British/Uzbekistani pairing prevailed in one hour and 31 minutes, having won just one point more than their opponents. They had upset second seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau in the first round.
Inglot will contest his third final of the season, having finished runner-up in Winston-Salem and Dusseldorf with Treat Huey. Istomin is through to his second career doubles final and will look to clinch his first title.

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