Sebastian Korda fought back from a break down in the final set to defeat Dominic Thiem 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(4) on Saturday to reach a second consecutive ATP final this month.
The American whose father Petr won the Australian Open a generation ago as a Czech will bid for the title in Antwerp after finishing runner-up last weekend in Gijon, Spain to Andrey Rublev.
Thiem, the 2020 US Open winner and former No. 3, stalled in his comeback effort after suffering a June, 2021, wrist injury.
The Austrlan was closing in on victory after breaking Korda for 4-3 in the third set, only to lose the edge with a forehand into the net for level-pegging, 4-all.
The 22-year-old Korda held his nerve to take the deciding set into a tiebreaker, where he profitted from a 4-1 lead as he advanced as Tiem hit the net with a return after two and three-quarter hours.
“I am very happy. It was a great battle between both of us,” the winner said.
“Every single game in the first set we were 30/30 and couldn’t get through the barrier. The second set was key.. a lot of breaks but I just stayed calm and confident.
“You can never really prepare for a final-set tie-break but I am pleased with how I stayed calm.”
Korda fired 11 aces and broke on four of five chances against the 29-year-old Thiem.
He will bid for the title on Sunday against the second-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who won a pair of tiebreaks to defeat Richard Gasquet 7-6(2), 7-6(3) helped by 22 aces.
FAA is now into a second final in eight days after winning the Florence title .
“It was the most difficult match this week so far,” the Canadian winner said.
“If I had not served the way I did it would have been really tough to win.
“My serve helped me tremendously to get through my service games easily and then, after, giving myself chances.
“(Gasquet) was playing really good. He’s still playing so well after so many years on the Tour.”
Korda owns wins in eight of his last nine matches and would rise to 30th in the rankings with a title, his second after Parma in 2021.
Thiem now heads to his home 500 event in Vienna next week with confidence bolsters; the No. 113 is working to crack back into the Top 100 with two weeks left to play in the ATP regular season.