French second seed Gilles Simon reached his first ATP final in almost a year on Saturday with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Austrian Jurgen Melzer at the Thailand Open.
The tenth-ranked Bangkok tournament debutant will contest the title on Sunday against the winner from top-seeded compatriot and holder Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Serb fourth seed Viktor Troicki.
Simon was runner-up in the chase for a trophy 12 months ago when he lost to Andy Murray in Madrid when that event was played indoors on hardcourt.
The Frenchman had won his five previous finals before losing to the Scot in October, 2008.
Simon is playing this week for the first time since the US Open, where he lost in the third round to Juan Carlos Ferrero.
"This shows that if I'm rested and have good training, I can play to a high level," said Simon, duelling for a place in the ATP World Tour Finals to be played in London .
"I arrived on the court eager, ready to fight and ready to run. I'm very pleased to be back in a final."
Simon had lost his only previous meeting with Melzer, 44th in the world. The Frenchman said that if he plays Tsonga on Sunday at the Impact arena, it won't be anything special with the pair standing 2-2 in their series.
"I see Jo every day, so seeing him across the net one more day won't change a thing."
Simon produced eight aces and two breaks of serve in nearly two hours on court.
He lost a break leading 5-3 in the opening set but regained to claim the opener as Melzer hit the net.
In the second, neither man gave in until the tiebreaker, when Simon got up 5-1 and advanced to the title match on his second match point, a passing winner down the line.