Holger Rune progressed to the final of the Sofia Open on Saturday after Jannik Sinner was forced to retire from their semi-final clash with an ankle injury.
Rune was 5-7 6-4 5-2 up in a hard-fought encounter when defending champion Sinner called the action to a halt.
The 19-year-old will make his second ATP Tour final appearance of the season on Sunday, after winning his first title in Munich in April.
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Rune is up against unseeded Swiss player Marc-Andrea Huesler, who earned a shock win over fourth seed Lorenzo Musetti in his semi-final to reach a maiden ATP final.
“He’s been playing amazing and serving so well, especially here he is getting a lot of free points on the serve,” Rune said.
"So it’s going to be another tough match and I really have to be there on my returns and serve at the same time, so it’s going to be an interesting match for sure.”
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Rune lost the opening set to Sinner, who was chasing a third consecutive victory at the indoor hard-court event in the Bulgarian capital.
But the Dane battled back to take the second and was in charge of the decider until the Italian fell and twisted his ankle.
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“It’s obviously never the way you want to win and it was such a great match,” said Rune.
“It’s the worst possible way it could end and I just want to wish Jannik all the best. He’s an amazing player and what he has shown this year has been unbelievable. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Huesler isn’t an unknown quantity to Rune, as the Swiss won their only previous meeting in straight sets when they met in Bastad in July.
The world No. 95 won 7-6(5) 7-5 against Musetti, coming back from 5-1 down in the first set tie-break to win after taking six points in a row.
“I’ve never been in the final before of an ATP event. I’m obviously a bit speechless,” Huesler said.
“I can’t quite believe that I’m able to win today and make it to the finals, but I played a really great match today and I’m just really happy.”
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