Holger Rune reached the final of the Brisbane International with a 6-4 7-6(0) victory over Roman Safiullin on Saturday to set up a final with Grigor Dimitrov.
The world No. 8 is the top seed in Australia and broke in the first game of the first, before winning the last two games of the match without dropping a point to earn a place in Sunday’s final.
“It was a good match,” said Rune after his win. “I started very well, broke him in the first game of the match to immediately put that pressure on him and then in the second set I got the early break again.
“He broke me back and it was a bit of a tighter set but I managed to stay with some good tennis in the tie-break when it mattered.”
The 20-year-old is in the ninth ATP Tour final of his career so far, and earned victory as he exploited Safiullin’s vulnerable second serve in the first time the two had met on the ATP Tour.
Asked how he would prepare for Sunday’s final, he said: “A lot of food, massage, recovery.
“Hopefully I’m going to watch a little bit of the match tonight and just get ready mentally and physically for tomorrow. Get a good warm-up tomorrow and then just go for it. It’s a final, to get it handed [to you], you have to earn it yourself.”
The Bulgarian veteran was a winner at Brisbane in 2017 and will have to get past Rune, 12 years his junior, to lift the title once more.
Dimitrov sent down 10 aces on his way to a straight-sets, 6-3 7-5 victory at the Pat Rafter Arena, to send up Sunday’s final.
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