ATP Thailand Open: Tomas Berdych books final slot with Milos Raonic
Last Updated: 29/09/13 10:53am
Tomas Berdych: Will meet Milos Raonic in the Thailand Open final on Sunday
Top seed Tomas Berdych secured a place in the Thailand Open after emerging victorious from a gruelling three-hour battle with Gilles Simon.
Berdych came from behind to win 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 7-5 in a fiercely contested semi-final on Saturday in Bangkok.
The World No 6 must now beat rising star Milos Raonic to clinch his first title of the year on Sunday.
He lost the opening set tie-break 5-7 to Simon after sending a forehand into the net.
The 28-year-old Czech star took a 3-0 in the second though and broke his opponent in the 11th game of the decider to reach his third final of the year.
"I was a bit unlucky in the first set," said Berdych, after winning his third of eight encounters with Simon. "I stuck to my tactics, which had been successful.
"I just tried to keep going in the same way, used the same strategy - it was a good option in the end."
"This is my third final of the season, so fingers crossed. I want to be strong and ready for the final."
Berdych ended with 18 aces and six breaks of serve, saving 11 of the 14 break points he faced.
"With Gilles you always expect a long match, that is his game," he added. "He likes long rallies. In the end it was very close but finally my serve helped me out and I was able to finish the win."
"This is my third final of the season, so fingers crossed. I need to do what is best for my body now and try to recover. I want to be strong and ready for the final."
Berdych will aim to claim his first title since Stockholm last October when he faces third seed Milos Raonic in the final on Sunday.
The big-serving Canadian came through a tight tussle against reigning champion Richard Gasquet, 3-6 7-5 6-4.
The hard-hitting Raonic struck 23 aces and broke Gasquet once in each of the second and third sets in just under two hours.
The world No 11, who could take his second title of the year having tasted glory in San Jose in February, is playing a full autumn schedule with a view to booking his place at the eight-man ATP World Tour finals in London.