Pouille and Bautista-Agut in Dubai final

Lucas Pouille and Roberto Bautista-Agut will face-off in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Saturday.

Pouille featured in the first semi-final of the day, where he survived a second set comeback from Filip Krajinovic to beat him 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6 (5) and reach his first final of the year. 

The second seed was superb on serve, winning 86% of his first service points and firing 16 aces. After cruising through the opening set, Pouille lost a crucial game late in the second, after which Krajinovic to force a tiebreaker. The Serb dominated the tiebreaker to force a deciding set.

The third set was tense, with no breakpoints on offer for either player as they entered another tiebreaker, which Pouille won after two match points. The victory gives the Frenchman something special to play for in the final. 

"Playing to reach the Top 10 for the first time, of course, it's something great," said the current world number 15.

"But obviously, if I play like this every week of the year [and] if I'm focused like this and I'm mentally as strong as I am now, I'm sure one week or another I will be in the Top 10."

Standing in Pouille's way of a top ten spot is Bautista Agut, who eased past Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4 later in the day. The Spaniard leads their head-to-head stat 2-1, with Pouille winning a five set thriller at the US Open in 2016 last time out. 

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