Tomic to face Fognini in long-awaited final

Bernard Tomic will attempt to prevent Fabio Fognini from making history in the Chengdu Open decider.

World number 123 Bernard Tomic   -  Getty Images

Bernard Tomic will face Fabio Fognini in his first ATP Tour final for over two years following a straight-sets defeat of Joao Sousa at the Chengdu Open.

Not since losing to Dominic Thiem at the Acapulco Open in February 2016 has Tomic played in a decider, but the Australian could end his three-year title drought this weekend.

Qualifier Tomic, down at 123rd in the rankings, served 12 aces as he sent seventh seed Sousa packing on Saturday, winning 6-4, 6-4.

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Sousa was unable to break former top 20 player Tomic, who won 83 per cent of points on his first serve and secured a solitary break in each set to win the second semifinal.

Fognini reached his fourth final of the season, coming from behind to defeat Taylor Fritz 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-3. The top seed has already won three tour singles titles in 2018 and will become the first Italian to claim four in a season if he gets the better of the big-serving Tomic.

Fognini, who won a first doubles title for two years in St. Petersburg alongside Matteo Berrettini last week, said: "It is my best year so far. I am really happy that the first time I visit Chengdu, I am in my first final."