March 2, 2018 / 6:49 PM / 10 months ago

Tennis: Pouille to meet Bautista Agut in Dubai final

Tennis - ATP - Dubai Open - Semifinal - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 2, 2018. Lucas Pouille of France celebrates after defeating Filip Krajinovic of Serbia. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

(Reuters) - Second seed Lucas Pouille outlasted Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(5) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday to reach his third ATP World Tour final in four events.

World number 15 Pouille, who won the Montpellier title last month and reached the Marseille final last week, prevailed in two hours and 19 minutes to give himself a shot at entering the top 10 for the first time in his career.

Standing in the 24-year-old Frenchman’s way is Roberto Bautista Agut, who cruised past wildcard Malek Jaziri 6-3 6-4 to end the Tunisian’s fairytale run in the tournament.

“Playing to reach the top 10 for the first time, it’s something great,” Pouille said.

“If I play like this every week of the year... if I’m focused and mentally as strong as I am now, I’m sure one week or another I’ll be in the top 10.”

After taking the first set with ease, Pouille ran into trouble at 5-4 in the second as a determined Krajinovic fought back to drag the contest into a decider.

After a short rain delay, Pouille clinched victory in a third-set tiebreak.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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