HAMBURG: Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili saved two match points to beat second-seeded Alexander Zverev on Saturday and reach the final of the Hamburg European Open.
The fourth-seeded Georgian won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) and will face Andrey Rublev of Russia on Sunday.
Zverev led 5-3 in the third set, much to his home crowd's delight, before Basilashvili saved one match point with a forehand winner and the other when he sprinted to the net to swat away a forehand volley.
That was on his own serve and Basilashvili went on to break Zverev and take it to the tiebreaker, where he then rallied from 5-2 down to seal his place in the final.
Ivan Lendl ended his spell working with Zverev on Friday just days after the 22-year-old complained his coach spent more time talking about "golf and his dog" than tennis.
Under Lendl's guidance, Zverev won the ATP Finals in 2018, easily the most prestigious victory of his career.
Rublev also produced a comeback in his semifinal to beat Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
After finding himself 4-2 down in the second set, Rublev recovered to win 11 of the last 13 games.
Rublev has struggled with injuries over the past year and a half. The Russian missed three months last season due to a lower back stress fracture, and was out for six weeks this year with a wrist injury.