© Tata Open Maharashtra

Jiri Vesely owns one ATP Tour trophy.

Vesely Saves 4 M.P. To Reach Pune Final

Czech to meet Gerasimov in final

For the second straight day, Jiri Vesely saved match points in a final-set tie-break to keep his title hopes alive at the Tata Open Maharashtra.

After surviving two match points during his quarter-final victory against Ilya Ivashka on Friday, the unseeded Czech saved four match points to outlast Ricardas Berankis 6-7(8), 7-6(3), 7-6(7) on Saturday, advancing to his first ATP Tour final in nearly five years.

“I am very happy with my performance and my fighting spirit.” said Vesely. “I didn’t give up… In total he had four match points and I kept fighting. It just paid off today.”

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The World No. 107, who trailed 3/6 in the final-set tie-break, landed 28 aces and won six of the final seven points to triumph after three hours and two minutes. Vesely will attempt to lift his second trophy in his third tour-level championship match, following 2015 final appearances at the ASB Classic (d. Mannarino) and Bucharest (l. to Garcia-Lopez).

“I am really happy to be in a final again after almost five years,” said Vesely. “I hope I can keep the momentum. I hope I can use these two matches where I turned the match around and use it as an advantage. I will play with a lot of confidence tomorrow and I will go for it, that’s for sure.”

The 6’6” left-hander levels his ATP Head2Head series against Berankis at 1-1. At last year’s US Open, Berankis defeated Vesely in five sets to reach the second round.

Vesely will meet eighth seed Egor Gerasimov for the title. The Belarusian advanced to his maiden ATP Tour final with a 7-6(2), 6-4 win against sixth seed James Duckworth.

Competing at a career-high No. 90 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Gerasimov dropped just five points behind his first serve (40/45) and did not face a break point to overcome the Australian after 90 minutes. Gerasimov and Vesely have never met at tour-level, but the Belarusian defeated Vesely in their only previous match in the second qualifying round at last year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

“I think I was playing pretty well. My first final of an ATP [Tour event]. Everyone is dreaming about this. I am very happy.” said Gerasimov.

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