Home hero Norrie reaches first final in Auckland, Seppi awaits Sydney opponent
Cameron Norrie was thrilled to make his first ATP final on home soil in Auckland as he overcame Jan-Lennard Struff in the last four of the Auckland Open.
Norrie, who represents Great Britain but grew up in Auckland, beat Struff 7-5 4-6 6-3 on Friday with the aid of 17 aces.
"I was really, really nervous in that last game... slightly tight, but a big thanks to the crowd for getting me through that," said Norrie.
"It's so special. It's my first final and to do it at home, too, it means so much to me."
Norrie will now face Tennys Sandgren after the American served outstandingly in a 6-4 6-2 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Sandgren is also seeking a maiden ATP Tour title, having lost last year's US Men's Clay Court Championship final to Steve Johnson, but has lost each of his three previous career meetings with Norrie, all of which took place on the Challenger Tour in 2017.
Andreas Seppi progressed to the final of the Sydney International with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win against Diego Schwartzman, but the veteran Italian must wait to learn his opponent.
The second semi-final between Alex de Minaur and 2011 champion Gilles Simon was postponed due to rain and will take place on Saturday.
Seppi, whose last ATP title was secured in October 2012, has never faced De Minaur at tour level, while he has not beaten Simon in six attempts.