LOS ANGELES (AP)—Second-seeded Sam Querrey defeated Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-7 (7), 7-6 (7), 6-4 on Saturday to reach the Farmers Classic final for the second consecutive year.
Querrey needed 2 hours and 47 minutes to put away Tipsarevic at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, not far from his hometown of Thousand Oaks.
"That was an awesome match, a lot of fun, a lot of drama," he said.
There were missed chances on both sides. Querrey lost the first set after holding five set points in the 12th game.
The Serb failed to convert a match point in the 10th game of the second set, then blew a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker.
"I am happy by the way I played, but I should never lose this match," Tipsarevic said. "I didn’t use the chances I had."
Querrey reeled off six straight points, helped by a few big serves, to win the tiebreaker 7-5 when Tipsarevic netted a backhand.
"When I got it back on serve, I felt I had the momentum," he said. "I got in a good rhythm."
The American will try to defend his title in Sunday’s final against top-seeded Andy Murray, who defeated No. 4 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-0, 1-6, 6-4. It’s the first time since 1999 and fifth time ever that the top two seeds reached the final here.
Andre Agassi is the last player to win back-to-back titles in the 83-year-old tournament, accomplishing the feat in 2001 and ’02.
"I wouldn’t mind joining that name," said Querrey, who has won three titles this year on three different surfaces.
Murray broke Lopez three times while zipping through the first set, winning 25 points to Lopez’s 11. It was the same in the second set, only Lopez broke Murray three times, including at love in the final game.
Murray grabbed the only break of the third in the opening game, then closed it out on his second match point when Lopez’s forehand landed in the net.
"Neither of us has played much since Wimbledon so maybe that explains the inconsistency," Murray said.
There were no service breaks by Querrey or Tipsarevic in the first two sets. Tipsarevic broke to open the third set, then Querrey finally converted on his ninth break chance of the match, tying it at 3. They traded service games before dueling through a ninth game that featured seven deuces.
Tipsarevic blew a handful of break points before Querrey held for a 5-4 lead. On the American’s second match point, Tipsarevic sent a backhand beyond the baseline.
That set off a loud celebration by Querrey’s "Samurai" fan club of bare-chested male friends.
"I just missed too many easy balls trying to make a direct winner on them," Tipsarevic said. "This season he has the wind at his back playing very well on all surfaces."
Querrey escaped his third three-set match of the week. He got by fourth-seeded Rainer Schuettler of Germany, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
"He managed to get out of two matches he should’ve lost," Tipsarevic said. "When it’s important, he’s coming up with big shots."
Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan advanced to their 100th career ATP Tour final, putting them on course to win their record 62nd doubles title in their hometown tournament.
"There will be some nerves," Mike Bryan said. "We want it bad."
The Bryans are tied with Hall of Famers Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with 61 titles.
The twin brothers defeated Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan 6-2, 6-4 for their 15th consecutive win in Los Angeles, where they have won five titles.