Frenchman Mathieu beats Cuevas to reach Hamburg final

Hamburg: Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu beat Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 at the German Open on Saturday to reach his first final this season.

The world number 39, who raced back from a set and a break down, will play Russian Nikolay Davydenko or Spaniard David Ferrer who were playing later in the second semi-final.

The 23-year-old Cuevas initially pummelled Mathieu with his lethal topspin backhand, grabbing an early break to lead 4-2 before clinching the first set after 40 minutes.

The world number 107, who won the 2008 French Open men’s doubles title, got another break in the first game of the second set but 27-year-old Mathieu was in no mood to surrender, winning four consecutive games to level the match.

Heavy rain then suspended play for about 40 minutes as the retractable roof started to leak before 13th seed Mathieu raced to a 5-1 lead in the final set with a double break.

He survived a stirring comeback from surprise semi-finalist Cuevas, who levelled at 5-5, breaking him again and serving out the match after almost three hours.

Bureau Report