SHENZHEN, China, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- No.1 seed Tomas Berdych was only one step away from his first trophy of this season, after beating Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 7-5 in the ATP Shenzhen Open semifinals here on Saturday.
Firing nine aces and claiming an 88 percent first serve points, the defending champion almost dominated the entire match, despite losing three games in a row when he led 5-2 in the second set.
"It's always a pleasure to play in a full stadium," Berdych said.
"It was a great atmosphere. I like the courts and the conditions," he added.
The 31-year old, who claimed the title here after beating Garcia-Lopez in 2015, said he started to like this place.
"Some things work really well, and once you get a good result, it's a place you want to come back to," said the Czech.
Berdych will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the finale, who was leading 6-2, 4-1 when Serbian Janko Tipsarevic was forced to retire from their semifinal clash with a groin injury.
"Our matches are very tough, physically everyone is getting better and better. He's had injuries in the past, same as me, and I hope he will recover well," Gasquet said.
The 30-year old Frenchman will not be a surpriser for Berdych. The two have had a close relationship since their teenage.
"We know each other well since we were kids, we played so many matches together, some I won, some he won," Berdych said.
"He had a good week, wining matches to reach the final, same thing as I did. For the final, I will try to play a little better than today, and go for the title," he added.