Rising Indian star Somdev Devvarman was never seriously troubled as he defeated local Izak van der Merwe 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the South African Open final. A couple of early first-set service breaks set him up for a showdown with either South African Kevin Anderson or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, the two surviving seeds from a shock-littered tournament.
It will be the second appearance in an ATP World Tour final for the native of Guwahati after he lost to Croatia's Marin Cilic in straight sets in Chennai two seasons ago.
Devvarman is a bogey man for South Africans, defeating Rik de Voest and Van der Merwe in a 2009 Davis Cup play-off and also seeing off both players this week at the Montecasino entertainment centre north of Johannesburg.
"I took my chances today while Izak did not serve too well. As for beating South Africans, I'm sorry," said the reigning Commonwealth Games and Asian Games men's singles champion.
"It has been so enjoyable playing in this tournament and I look forward to a great final, possibly against another South African," he added, referring to fourth seed Anderson.
Devvarman started as favourite to reach the decider as he had won all three previous encounters against Van der Merwe. And he wasted little time winning the first set.