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Nalbandian through to Queen's final
David Nalbandian is relishing his first grass court final in 10 years after beating Grigor Dimitrov to set up a showdown against Marin Cilic at the AEGON Championships.
Dimitrov, 21, captured the hearts of the public at Queen's after the exit of top seeds Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but he was not good enough to beat Nalbandian, losing 6-4 6-4 in blustery conditions in west London. Cilic beat 2010 champion Sam Querrey in the other semi-final.
"It has been a long time since I have reached the final of a tournament on grass so I'm very happy," world number 39 Nalbandian said."I've played this tournament a few times, and I have never reached the final so tomorrow I will be happy to be on court."
He has not reached the final of a grass court tournament since 2002, when he lost to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon.
The Argentinian, then just 20 years old, was expected to go on to win several grand slams, but despite being a recognised name in the tennis world, he has not made the final of a major since.
He went on: "I don't think about the Wimbledon final in 2002 a lot. I don't log on to a computer and look when my last grass final was, I don't really care, but I am happy to be there tomorrow and I will be ready."
Despite winning in straight sets, Nalbandian had to work hard for his victory because of the blustery conditions on centre court. "It was very, very tough. The wind was terrible today," Nalbandian said. "We didn't play a very nice match."
Cilic earned his place in the final by beating Querrey 6-3 3-6 6-3. The Croatian survived nine break points in the first set to move ahead, but Querrey broke his 6ft 6in opponent twice in the second in what was also a poor quality encounter.
The sixth seed expects a tough clash against the former world number three. "He can be pretty hostile, definitely," Cilic said. "He will have a few tricks up his sleeve. When I played him first time in 2006 he was pretty intimidating.
"He has a few tricks. Warming up he hits the ball a little harder and tries to show that he can accelerate and push you a little bit to make you nervous."