Nalbandian versus Cilic in final
David Nalbandian ended Grigor Dimitrov's fairytale run at Queen's to set up a showdown against Marin Cilic at the AEGON Championships.
Dimitrov, 21, captured the hearts of the public at Queen's after the exit of top seeds Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but he was not good enough to beat Nalbandian today, losing 6-4 6-4 in blustery conditions in west London.
Nalbandian has not reached the final of a grass court tournament since 2002, when he lost to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon.
The Argentinian, then just 20-years-old, was expected to go on to win several grand slams, but despite being a recognised name in the tennis world, he has not made the final of a major since.
Reaching the final here at Queen's is by no means a match for reaching the last two at the All England Club, but Nalbandian is nevertheless looking forward to facing Cilic, who beat 2010 champion Sam Querrey in today's other semi-final.
"It has been a long time since I have reached the final of a tournament on grass so I'm very happy," the world number 39 said.
"I've played this tournament a few times, and I have never reached the final so tomorrow I will be happy to be on court.
"I don't think about the Wimbledon final in 2002 a lot. I don't log on to a computer and look when my last grass final was, I don't really care, but I am happy to be there tomorrow and I will be ready."
Despite winning in straight sets, Nalbandian had to work hard for his victory because of the blustery conditions on centre court.
Both played scrappily, breaking each other twice early on in the first set before the 30-year-old's experience shone through.
He clinched the decisive break in the seventh game when Dimitrov went long with a forehand, and after breaking each other again in the second, Nalbandian took control of the game in the ninth game when he powered home a volley following a thrilling rally.
"It was very, very tough. The wind was terrible today," Nalbandian said.
"We didn't play a very nice match."
The inclement weather has dogged Nalbandian all week. His first-round match against Vasek Pospisil was not played until Wednesday, and he had to come through two three-set matches to get through to today's semi-final.
"It has been a really tricky week," he said.
"I was here at 10am on Monday and then had two days without playing tennis.
"I was supposed to play Monday and I didn't. I was supposed to play on Tuesday and it was cancelled."
Cilic earned his place in the final by beating Querrey 6-3 3-6 6-3.
The Croatian survived nine break points in the first set to move ahead, but Querrey broke his 6ft 6in opponent twice in the second in what was also a poor quality encounter.
Both players exchanged breaks in the final set, but Cilic's power proved too much for the world number 77 in the end and another break allowed the Croatian to progress to his first Queen's final.
Nalbandian holds a 4-1 advantage from the pair's previous meetings, but the last time they locked horns Cilic came out on top in an epic five-set Davis Cup clash in Argentina.
The sixth seed expects a tough clash against the former world number three tomorrow afternoon.
"He can be pretty hostile, definitely," Cilic said. "He will have a few tricks up his sleeve.
"When I played him first time in 2006 he was pretty intimidating.
"He has a few tricks. Warming up he hits the ball a little harder and tries to show that he can accelerate and push you a little bit to make you nervous."