sport

Benneteau seals place in final

Julien Benneteau edged closer to securing his maiden ATP Tour singles title after reaching final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam.

After upsetting Roger Federer on Friday, the 31-year-old beat fellow Frenchman and fifth seed Gilles Simon 6-4 7-6 (7/2).

Benneteau, who has lost seven singles finals since turning professional in 2000, will meet second seed Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's decider after the Argentinian won his semi-final 6-4 6-4 over Grigor Dimitrov.

Del Potro was runner-up to Federer in last year's final and has Benneteau to thank for avoiding the Swiss this time around.

The 24-year-old will, however, meet Benneteau at the peak of his powers after his masterclass against Federer.

The world number 39 triumphed 6-3 7-5 against the 17-time major winner and was similarly impressive as he swept aside Simon in one hour and 50 minutes.

Del Potro is enjoying a return to form himself, after he was knocked out in the third round of the Australian Open last month, and was dominant behind his first serve today winning 74 per cent of points on it.

"The match was tough," he told www.atptour.com.

"The breaks I got gave me the confidence to be aggressive all the time and play my game throughout the match.

"Being in the final means a lot to me after an early loss at the Australian Open.

"I think I'm serving really well, but I feel like I can improve a little bit for tomorrow. I faced break points today, so that means I need to improve if I want to win tomorrow."