Tomas Berdych ousted top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 on Saturday to set up a China Open final against Marin Cilic.
Tsonga had been aiming to reach consecutive finals, after winning the Moselle Open last month, but the Frenchman's baseline drives too often went long against Berdych. Despite taking the second set, he seemed to lose focus in the third as Berdych broke him twice to set up the win.
''The chance was here. I'm happy to take this chance to be in the final,'' said the third-seeded Berdych, who progressed to his first final of the season.
A win on Sunday would be a major boost toward the Czech's hopes of securing one of four remaining spots at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
''This match could really change my season from a good season to a really good season,'' Berdych said.
Cilic for his part continued his recent run of good form with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ivan Ljubicic. The two big-hitting Croats combined for 22 aces.
''Today was a really...