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By Alberto Amalfi | Saturday, June 17, 2017

Gilles Muller

Gilles Muller defeated Alexander Zverev, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to power into his second straight 's-Hertogenbosch final.

Photo credit: Ricoh Open

Gilles Muller’s game continues to bloom on Dutch grass.

Muller dispatched second-seeded Alexander Zverev, 7-6 (5), 6-2, powering into the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final for the second straight year.

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The 34-year-old Muller advanced to his third final of the season. He defeated Dan Evans to capture his first career title in Sydney in January and was runner-up to Pablo Carreno Busta in the Estoril final in April.

The left-hander’s slider serve, shifting speeds and attacking game were too much for the Rome champion.

Down a mini-break at 2-4 in the tie break, Muller amped up the attack.

Hitting behind the 6-foot-6 German, Muller sent a forehand down the line for the mini-break and followed a slice serve winner and a stretch volley winner for 5-4.

A Zverev lunging forehand into net gave Muller two set points. Banging a body serve he closed out the set with a shout.

The 20-year-old Zverev dug out of a triple-break point hole in his opening service game of the second set.

Continuous pressure from Muller elicited the break in the third game.

Muller sent a low return drawing Zverev forward them pumped an inside-out forehand pass breaking for a 2-1 second-set lead.

The fourth seed never looked back winning 11 of 13 first-serve points in the second set.

Muller, who raised his Ricoh Open record to 12-7, will play either top-seeded Marin Cilic or third-seeded Ivo Karlovic in tomorrow’s final.

It was a tough semifinal Saturday for the Zverev brothers. Feliciano Lopez edged Mischa Zverev, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, in the Stuttgart semifinal prior to Alexander Zverev's loss to Muller.


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