Italian tennis ace Andreas Seppi earned his spot in the Sydney International final for the first time after he defeated Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a thrilling semifinal on Friday. The veteran overcame the world no 19 in a first-set tiebreaker.
Seppi started the game with full swing as he led the first set with 4-0 until the third seeded Argentine broke it. Schwartzman broke Seppi early in the first set but the Italian fought back to take a 1-0 lead.
Currently 37 in the ATP ranking, Seppi has made three previous appearances in Sydney semis. He hasn’t played in an ATP world tour final since June 2015 in Halle in Germany.
Seppi will meet the winner of the other semi-final between Australia's Alex De Minaur and France's Gilles Simon in the final. He maintained a concrete run for the year with defeating number one seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in their quarter-final.
De Minaur defeated fellow Australian Jordan Thompson, while Simon overcame John Millman in their respective quarterfinals.
Schwartzman, who had defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Yoshihito Nishioka in the earlier rounds, will head to Melbourne for the Australian Open, where he will play Rudolf Molleker his opening match.