Johannesburg: Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist Somdev Devvarman reached his first ATP final in two years after beating local wild card entrant Izak Van der Merwe in straight sets in the South African Open.
The 25-year-old rising Indian star scored a 6-2 6-4 win over the South African to progress to his second career final at the Montecasino Entertainment Centre. His first one being in Chennai in 2009 where he lost to Croatia's Marin Cilic.
The victory has moved the Indian within sniffing distance of accumulating 250 ATP World Tour points and pocketing USD 76,500 first prize money.
In the summit clash, Somdev will face fourth seed South African Kevin Anderson who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannrino 6-7(3) 6-0 6-4 in the other semifinal match.
Last year, Somdev was eliminated in straight sets by Spain's David Ferrer at the quarter-final stage.
Somdev wasted little time in winning the first set in just 39 minutes, breaking serve in the first and third games.
Merwe, much taller to his Indian opponent, rallied in the second set but Somdev broke again in the seventh game when his rival ended a rally with a tame shot into the net.
Somdev has so far dropped just one set at the tournament.