METZ, France (AFP) - German journeyman Matthias Bachinger stunned Japanese top seed Kei Nishikori by fighting back from a set down on Saturday (Sept 22) to reach the first ATP Tour final of his career in Metz.
The 31-year-old qualifier, who is ranked down at 166 in the world rankings, will face home hope Gilles Simon in Sunday's final after beating Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
"This has been my biggest success in my career. Kei is such a great player. I was a bit tired from yesterday but he also played really well in the opening set," Bachinger, who started the week with just one tour-level win this year, told atpworldtour.com.
Top seed Nishikori, who reached the US Open semi-finals earlier this month, looked to be cruising to victory after racing through the opening set, but Bachinger broke in the final games of the next two to claim a shock win.
"I played well, but he played better in the last two sets when he changed his game and raised his level," said Nishikori.
"Now I'm going to have some rest before I think about the rest of the season."
Simon reached his 21st career final earlier on Saturday by beating Moldovan Radu Albot 6-3, 6-1.
The 33-year-old Simon, who has already reached the final in Metz three times and won twice, eased past an opponent appearing in his first ATP semi-final.