ATP PBZ Zagreb Indoors: Britain's Dan Evans loses to Tommy Haas in the semi-finals
Last Updated: 08/02/14 7:45pm
Dan Evans: Went down to German top seed Tommy Haas in last four
Surprise package Dan Evans failed to reach his maiden ATP Tour final after his remarkable run at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors came to an end against Tommy Haas.
Despite the British No 2 winning the opening set, the German top seed came roaring back to claim a 5-7 6-4 6-3 victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
Haas - a quarter-finalist at last year's French Open - will now face defending champion Marin Cilic in Sunday's showpiece.
With the first set evenly poised at 5-5, Evans made a vital break of serve before holding his own delivery to take the first set.
The second set then went with serve until Haas claimed the crucial break to level the match at one set apiece, taking it 6-4 to set up a decider.
The 35-year-old won what turned out to be the solitary break of serve in the third and final set to move into a 4-2 lead, before closing it out.
Twenty-three-year-old Birmingham native Evans - a lucky-loser entrant thanks to Radek Stepanek's withdrawal - shocked many when ousting Jan Hajek and Michael Berrer in early rounds but went one better in the last eight, overcoming Philipp Kohlschreiber, but the experienced Haas proved one step too far.
Evans can expect to rise to around number 124 in the ATP rankings and was the first British player, other than Andy Murray, to reach the last four of an ATP World Tour tournament since James Ward did so at the Aegon Championships in June 2011.
Cilic kept alive his chances of winning the tournament for the fourth time in six years by beating German qualifier and world No 358 Bjorn Phau 6-3 6-4.
Fifth-seeded Cilic clinched his 19th win from his last 20 matches and holds a tournament-best record of 21-4 heading into the final.
"I did not serve well, especially at key moments," Cilic said. "I lost rhythm in the second set, but apart from that I felt he was not able to do any damage to me."
It will be the eighth time in the tournament's nine-year history that a singles final features a Croatian.