World number 29 Richard Gasquet will compete in his 31st ATP final (15-15 so far) and the third of the season after defeating a lucky loser Henri Laaksonen 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 12 minutes. This was their first meeting and Laaksonen (148th on the ATP list) couldn't do much in his second ATP semi-final, losing more than 50% of the points in his games to suffer four breaks from nine opportunities he gave to Richard.
The Frenchman has earned the place in his first final on clay since Estoril 2015 after a solid display in his games, winning 80% of the points after landing the first serve in and saving two out of three break points to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.
Richard held at love in the opening game and he grabbed a break in the very next game after a forehand error from Laaksonen who was still searching for the right zone in the first minutes of the match. The next four games went to deuces (nine in total) but the servers managed to avoid breaks, with Henri serving to stay in the set at 2-5.
Gasquet broke him at 15 to take the opener 6-2 in 38 minutes and Laaksonen had to receive a medical timeout for his right hand in the pause between two sets. He started to play better and the advantage was in his hands when he broke Richard in game three.
The Frenchman pulled it back immediately, though, leveling the score at 2-2 after another poor forehand from the Swiss, and they both served well in the next three games to move towards the tie break. Gasquet had some other plans and he made a crucial move when he broke in game eight with a beautiful backhand down the line that sent him 5-3 up.
He wrapped up the win with an ace down the T line in the ninth game to secure his place in the final, his second in the last four events. Semi-final results: