VIENNA (AP) — David Ferrer came from a break down in the final set to defeat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3) on Saturday and set up a final against Andy Murray at the Erste Bank Open.
Top-seeded Ferrer will appear in his fourth final of the season. He is seeking his 22th career title and second of the year.
Earlier, second-seeded Murray defeated Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-4, 6-3 to reach his second final of the season after winning his 29th career title in Shenzhen last month.
On Sunday, Murray can become only the fifth still active player with 30 or more titles alongside Roger Federer (81), Rafael Nadal (64), Novak Djokovic (46) and Lleyton Hewitt (30).
“Getting to 30 would be a nice number,” Murray said. “I know how hard it is to win events so to try and get to 30 tomorrow will be a good challenge.”
Murray leads Ferrer 7-6 though the fifth-ranked Spaniard won their only previous meeting this season in Shanghai last week. Both players are competing to qualify for the ATP Finals in London next month.
“I am fighting for the Race to London,” Ferrer said and called the final “a difficult match for sure. I know I have to play very good and have to serve better.”
Murray’s 50th win of the season saw him provisionally rise to eighth place in the qualifying race to the eight-man event.
If Murray holds on to his position, he will qualify for a seventh straight year for the prestigious season-ending tournament, though he pulled out following back surgery in 2013.
“I’ve been winning a lot more than in the beginning of the year,” Murray said. “I am trying to keep that consistency up the rest of the year.”
The Scot improved to 6-0 against the former 12th-ranked Troicki, who is now 127th after returning from a one-year doping suspension in July.
Murray dropped serve while leading 3-2 in the opening set on the only break point he faced but was in control of the match throughout.
“I managed to win the big points,” said Murray, who had hard-fought wins over Vasek Pospisil and Jan-Lennard Struff in earlier rounds. “It was a bit better today. The previous matches my opponents have been big servers.”
Troicki saved a break point at 1-1 and five more at 2-2 before losing his serve but the Serb leveled the score the next game. Another break at 4-4 helped Murray win the first set, and the Scot added two more in the second to smoothly wrap up the win.
Ferrer hadn’t lost a service game in the tournament before the semifinals but had to save five break points in the opening set against Kohlschreiber.
The German managed to break Ferrer twice in the second set to level the match but couldn’t hold on to a 4-2 lead in the final set.
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