Tennis: Top seed Thiem to face Frenchman Simon in Lyon final

Austria's Dominic Thiem in action during the ATP Madrid Open in May 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LYON, France (REUTERS) - Top seed Dominic Thiem of Austria booked a place in the Lyon Open final by beating Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 6-4 5-7 6-4 on Friday (May 25).

The world number eight will face veteran Gilles Simon for the title, after the Frenchman ended Briton Cameron Norrie's hopes with a 6-1 7-6(6) victory in the other semi-final.

Simon broke Norrie's serve three times in the first set, but his 22-year-old opponent put up a better fight in the second and forced a tiebreak that he briefly led before Simon's brought all his experience into play.

The 33-year-old saved two set points before seeing out the match, but Norrie will leave Lyon with his reputation greatly enhanced. The youngster's run to the last four will see him break into the top 100 in the world for the first time.

Thiem was forced to play twice on Friday after his quarter-final match against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was suspended the previous day due to fading light.

The match resumed with the players level at one set apiece and the Austrian battled for 50 minutes before closing out a 6-7(4) 7-6(0) 6-4 victory.

His semi-final against Lajovic lasted just under two hours, and the 24-year-old will be aiming to win his 10th ATP title on Saturday to get a boost ahead of next week's French Open.

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