Former junior Australian Open champion Jiri Vesely made his first ATP Tour final in Auckland, where fellow debutant Adrian Mannarino awaits.
Jiri Vesely and Adrian Mannarino each made their first ATP Tour final with respective victories over Lucas Pouille and fourth seed Kevin Anderson in the Auckland Open semi-finals.
Pouille had become the talk of the tournament, after the world number 136 took advantage of Tommy Robredo's injury to advance as a lucky loser.
His fortune ran out in the final four, however, as Mannarino displayed the class and fight which leaves 92 places between them in the rankings.
Mannarino converted the first set's sole break point to move ahead, but Pouille dug deep to carve out two set points in the second - taking the latter.
The decider was a tense affair, moving to 5-5 with neither having a sniff, but Mannarino turned up the heat in game 12 to overcome his fellow Frenchman.
A clash between two big-serving talents in Vesely and Anderson saw 22 aces rained down - 12-10 in Vesely's favour as he secured a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory.
The world number 63's delivery was so effective that he only gave away three points on serve throughout the first set, which he took courtesy of a third-game break - the only chance in the opener carved by either man.
A tight second set raced along on serve until the 11th and 12th games, which saw both break serve - Anderson doing so impressively to keep himself alive in a tie-breaker.
However, the South African could not capitalise on the shootout's first mini-break, twice surrendering serve to allow Vesely to advance.