Pouille to face Verdasco in maiden final


Lucas Pouille will face Fernando Verdasco - conqueror of reigning champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez - in his maiden ATP Tour final after beating Federico Delbonis in the last four of the Nastase Tiriac Trophy.

Frenchman Pouille overcame third seed Delbonis with a gutsy display in a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 triumph in Bucharest.

The 22-year-old signalled his intent early on as he forced a break point in the opening game and, though he was unable to capitalise, Pouille's lively performance marked him out as the favourite in the first-set tie-break.

He duly delivered to seize the advantage and underlined his position of strength by breaking Delbonis at the second attempt in the next set.

After a scare in a lengthy seventh game, in which Pouille held after being taken to deuce, he went on to seal a spot in the showdown with Verdasco.

The Spaniard ended his compatriot's title defence with a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory.

Verdasco will now go in search of his first title since 2014.