Lopez Returns To Gstaad Final
Spaniard to play Haase in Sunday final
"It’s a long time since my last final here," said Lopez. "I have great memories and it’s definitely a great feeling to be in the final here because it means I can still be competitive after 10 years."
Lopez plays Robin Haase for the championship at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament. The Dutch player defeated 2007 champion and eighth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second semi-final, 7-6(4), 7-6(2). He's into his first ATP World Tour final since Vienna in October 2013 and now seeks his first ATP World Tour title since winning back-to-back tournaments in Kitzbuhel in 2011 and 2012.
Haase leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1, including a 2013 semi-final win in Gstaad. “I'm very happy,” he said. “My goal is to win [tomorrow]. I've played him here before, I won and I hope I can take that as an advantage into tomorrow.”
The 34-year-old Spaniard needed one hour and 30 minutes to defeat Brown in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Brown, 31, was playing in his second ATP World Tour semi-final (Montpellier 2016, l. to Gasquet), and had beaten two former Swiss Open champions in his last two matches: two-time titlist Thomaz Bellucci (second round) and 2013 champ Mikhail Youzhny (quarter-finals).
“Dustin is a difficult player to play. He plays tricky shots, serves very good and has very good hands when he comes to the net. It was a tough match for me to play, but I think overall I had a great performance,” said Lopez. “I’ve played against [Robin] many times, so it’s going to be very tough.”
Haase saved four break points in his opening service game, but he and Mathieu traded routine service holds throughout the rest of the opening set to force a tie-break. The tie-break was even at 3/3 when a rain delay forced both players off the court. When they returned, Haase raced to a 6/3 lead and converted on his third set point.
The Dutchman earned the first break of the match by breaking Mathieu to love and grabbing a 2-0 lead, but the Frenchman fought back by breaking his opponent in the next game. They each held serve all the way to the tie-break, where Haase went on a four-point run to take a 5/2 lead and closed out the semi-final on his second match point.
Fourth Seeds Book Final Berth
Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos, fourth seeds in Gstaad, edged the unseeded Dutch-Austrian pairing of Sander Arends and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn 6-1, 3-6, 11-9 in the semi-finals. The Chilean-Argentine duo will face top seeds Mate Pavic of Croatia and Michael Venus of New Zealand in Sunday's final.