Lyon: France's Mickael Llodra, the world number 107, defeated compatriot Gilles Simon 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) on Saturday to reach the final of the 650,00-euro ATP event here.
He will take on Ivan Ljubicic in Sunday's final after the Croatian beat Frenchman Arnaud Clement in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Llodra prevailed in one hour and 47 minutes after profiting from a large slice of fortune in the deciding tie-break, when he twice saw shots clip the net at 3-1 and then 4-1.
"Sure, it didn't do me much good but the net is part of the game," said Simon, the world number 12, who declared himself "really frustrated" by the way the match had unfolded.
"It was almost like a penalty shootout in football," he said in reference to Llodra's impregnable serve-volley tactics.
"A match like that isn't particularly fun."
Llodra, by contrast, was enthused by his performance.
"I felt like I was in top form," he said. "I played a super match. My serve was superb and I volleyed well. It was even better than the quarter-final."
Clement, the world number 119, was unable to repeat his heroics from the previous round, when he eliminated top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Ljubicic, 30, produced a solid showing and will now seek to reclaim the title he won in 2001.
"Clement was definitely tired from his late match the day before whereas I had a kinder schedule on Friday," said the Croatian.
"I feel really good, strong and at ease on the court. I have no worries about my game."
First Published: Sunday, November 01, 2009, 10:44