Juan Martin del Potro reached his 30th career ATP final as he wore down David Ferrer to prevail at the Auckland Open.
The 2009 US Open champion was faced with an unsurprising show of endurance from his Spanish opponent, who was typically dogged in a contest that lasted one hour and 47 minutes.
But it was Del Potro who was the more clinical in taking his chances, coming through to claim a 6-4 6-4 triumph that sets up a showpiece with another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.
Del Potro struck in the first game to break but was forced to repeat the feat in the seventh game after Ferrer had levelled matters at 3-3.
That was to be the last blip of the match for the Argentine, though, as he comfortably served out the first set and required just a single break in the second, saving five break points en route to victory.
Speaking on court afterwards, Del Potro, who won the title in Auckland in 2009, said: "I'm exhausted, I'm so glad to be in the final after 10 [nine] years.
"I tried to serve hard to hit hard with my forehand, to play some slices and drop shots, it's never easy against David because he runs a lot and he's a fighter.
"It's amazing to me just to be playing tennis against after all my wrist problems. If I play well maybe I have a little chance."
Bautista Agut, meanwhile, beat Robin Haase in three sets, all of which went to tie-breaks in a near three-hour slugfest.
The world number 21 emerged victorious 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5), with his win sealed in magnificent fashion as Bautista Agut somehow landed an audacious backhand lob inside the baseline.
"When I saw the ball in, I went crazy," Bautista Agut said. "I'm so happy that I won... It was an unbelievable battle on the court."
|Wenger clarifies comment on Arsenal exit ´timing´|
|Boateng injury worry for Bayern and Germany|
|Nadal in control, as Djokovic, Nishikori exit in Barcelona|
|Robben injured in Bayern v Madrid Champions League semi-final|
|Icardi will wait for World Cup dream|
|Arthur hopes Smith, Warner and Bancroft can play county cricket|
|Dhoni and Rayudu star as Super Kings down RCB in thriller|
|NFL Draft 2018: Five overrated prospects|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain ´absolutely devastated´ by knee injury|
|NFL Draft 2018: Five potential first-round surprises|
|Simeone hails Wenger and distances himself from Arsenal switch|
|Madrid bench Benzema and Bale as James starts for Bayern|
|NFL Draft 2018: Teams with most riding on draft|
|Salah used to have problems in front of goal, says former Basel team-mate Sommer|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out of World Cup|
|Arsenal´s Bellerin slams Daily Mail as ´click baiters´|
|Rodgers and Paul to take NFL-NBA battle to the golf course|
|Gurley, Elliott & Fournette - The top-10 running backs of the last 10 years|
|I truly could have shot 59 - Spieth reflects on Augusta charge|
|Bruno Mars, Britney Spears to perform at US GP|
|Mourinho suggests United were ´not prepared to win´ before his arrival|
|Wolves in the clear over Mendes link-up|
|Salzburg first, history later for Garcia and Marseille|
|Nadal overcomes plucky Carballes Baena to make more clay history|
|Tennis´ governing bodies acknowledge ´vulnerabilities´ after independent integrity review|
|Leeds owner defends controversial Myanmar tour|
|ICC apologises, launches investigation into controversial tweet|
|Moeen: England should have dropped me sooner|
|Henderson: Injured fan´s recovery is the only result that matters|
|Ronaldo sends signed shirt to Manchester United star Rashford|
|Independent review says tennis faces ´serious integrity problem´ with betting|
|Djokovic stunned by Klizan in Barcelona|
|This group deserves something special – Wenger wants to exit on a high|
|North to return to Wales with Ospreys|
|Vieira ´ready for Europe´ amid reported Arsenal interest|
|Wenger focused on Arsenal despite desire to keep working elsewhere|
|Mourinho has made me a better person, says McTominay|
|Gerard sacked as Barca B coach after woeful winless run|
|Sensational Storm demolish Warriors, Dragons win again|
|Bayern links ´an honour´ for Madrid man Bale|
|F1 Raceweek: Vettel closing in on milestone - Azerbaijan GP in numbers|
|It is wide open - Wozniacki hopeful over Roland Garros chances|
|Roma ashamed by Liverpool fan attack|
|Wade, Ginobili will not be rushed over retirement decisions|
|UEFA ´shocked by vile attack´ on Liverpool fan|
|Mayfield´s Big 12 dominance & Jackson the dual threat - The 2018 Quarterback class in Opta numbers|
|Campbell tips Vieira and Bergkamp to replace Wenger|
|Courtois to sue former Belgium coach Wilmots|
|Heavyweights Ronaldo and Lewandowski go head to head – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Spurs, Heat eliminated as Celtics go up 3-2|
|Angels overcome Ohtani´s so-so outing to win series over Astros|
|Red Bull want Ricciardo decision by August|
|Rangers injuries piling up as Beltre leaves with hamstring issue|
|A´s closer Treinen exits after being hit by comebacker|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Gabriel leads Santos, Atletico cruise|
|He decides the biggest moments – Wijnaldum hails Salah|
|Finau ready to compete after freak ankle injury at Masters|
|Roma have some hope, says Monchi|
|Westbrook fined $10,000 for altercation with Gobert|
|Messi? Ronaldo? Salah is world´s best player – Gerrard|
|Liverpool are not Barcelona – Klopp cautious of Roma comeback|
|Liverpool supporter in ´critical condition´ after fan clashes|
|Gronkowski commits to 2018 season with Patriots|
|F1 Raceweek: Title race to heat up at venue of Vettel-Hamilton flashpoint|
|It´s all-inclusive football with Liverpool! - Klopp pleased despite Roma recovery|
|Montella to remain Sevilla coach until end of season|
|Di Francesco: Roma gave up – but if you don´t believe in a comeback, stay at home|
|Klopp accepts Salah substitution sparked Roma fightback|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain may miss World Cup after suffering ´a really bad injury´|
|De Rossi blames long balls for Roma ´blackout´ at Anfield|