World number three Novak Djokovic roared into his first Masters Cup final with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Gilles Simon on Saturday.
The Australian Open champion recovered from a poor first set and weathered a late fight-back to reach the year-end title match at the second attempt after dropping out at the group stage last year.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old from Belgrade will face either fourth-ranked Briton Andy Murray or Russia's Nikolay Davydenko.
The Serb's victory ends a fairytale run by Simon, who only qualified for the eight-man event when top-ranked Rafael Nadal pulled out injured but shocked defending champion Roger Federer to reach the semis.
The piano-playing world number nine had been gunning to become the only French end-of-year winner and the first from his country to reach the final since Sebastien Grosjean in 2001.
In an error-strewn first set, Djokovic started slowly and struggled to hold serve as he was broken early and saved four set points before Simon took the lead 6-4.
The Frenchman got a let-off early in the second as Djokovic bounced a simple forehand off the net with break point for the taking.
But after treatment for an apparent neck strain, Simon double-faulted to go a break down, saved more break points at 4-1 and parried a return into the tramlines on the first set point.