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Mayer into Stockholm final

Florian Mayer reached the third ATP final of his career with a fighting 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Finn Jarkko Nieminen at the Stockholm Open.

sports Updated: Oct 23, 2010 21:50 IST

Florian Mayer reached the third ATP final of his career on Saturday with a fighting 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Finn Jarkko Nieminen at the Stockholm Open.

The 47th-ranked German will face a huge test Sunday when he goes in as underdog against either Roger Federer or Ivan Ljubicic.

Victory in two and a quarter hours gave Mayer another chance to lift the first trophy of his career.

Nieminen, a Stockholm finalist in 2001 and 2006, missed in a decisive third-set tiebreaker as Mayer put over a cross-court winner which the 29-year-old Finn could not reach on the first of three match points.

The Finn came to the court with a 4-2 lead in the series and had won 11 of his 13 matches since a first-round US Open loss.

Mayer said he goes into the title match facing a huge deficit. "I have nothing to lose. I was a little tired today, physically and mentally.

"But I fought hard, I played for the line on match point and had a bit of luck. After losing the second set I was able to come back in the third."

Mayer, who defeated sixth seed Feliciano Lopez in the first round and Swedish number five Robin Soderling in the Friday quarter-finals, won his 23rd match of the season as he played in only his second semi-final of 2010.

"I didn't play my best today but I fought unbelievable out there. I really wanted to be in the final. I think I deserve it."

Mayer's win was only his third on hardcourts this season against 12 defeats on the surface.