Goffin takes another step towards London, Mannarino awaits in final
The in-form David Goffin moved into the last automatic qualifying slot for the ATP Finals on Saturday as he reached the Japan Open final for the second year in succession.
Goffin, who ended a lengthy title drought at last week's Shenzhen Open, edged out Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (8-6) in Tokyo.
As a result, the Belgian is now up to 10th in the Race to London at the expense of Sam Querrey, a position that would be enough to secure an ATP Finals berth with Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic each ruled out for the remainder of 2017.
Adrian Mannarino stands between Goffin and a second title in as many weeks. The Frenchman came from a set down to secure a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-0 victory over Marin Cilic, his first win against an opponent ranked in the top five.
Mannarino has lost his previous three ATP Tour finals, but his opponent on Sunday anticipates a tough test.
Goffin said: "Mannarino is improving this year, he has won a lot of matches and has a lot of confidence.
"He is using his lefty serve effectively, which can be tricky to return. He's playing well, so it will be tough."