World number three Novak Djokovic reached his first final of the season when he beat third-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 at the Dubai Championships on Friday.
The Serb will face fourth seed David Ferrer after the Spaniard overwhelmed Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2.
In contrast to Djokovic's two hours 44-minute struggle, Ferrer dominated the match from the beginning to tie up victory in just 75 minutes.
"I fought my way through in the match, really believed till the end and mentally this is a very important win for me," top seed Djokovic told reporters.
"If I want to stay on top of the men's game, I have to win these matches because Simon is certainly one of the best players in the world.
"He plays a very unique game. He's very solid from all sides, and playing with a very small number of unforced errors, which... when you see him, you don't think that physically he's that strong and he has great endurance."
Both Djokovic and Simon struggled to produce their best tennis in the afternoon heat.
Djokovic was especially wayward during the first set and struggled to find any consistency.
Simon, though, was under early pressure as he fought off two break points at 1-1 before breaking to lead 4-2 when Djokovic made a forehand error.
Both players had their chances to break in the second set before Djokovic broke in the final game with a forehand winner.
Djokovic bounced back from trailing 0-2 in the decider to level at 3-3 when Simon produced a backhand error.
The Serb kept up the pressure and broke for the match after Simon set up match point by netting a low forehand volley.
The Serbian sealed victory with an emphatic smash.
Ferrer produced an almost flawless performance which gave Gasquet little chance to get into the match.
The Spaniard broke in the opening game and then again at love to lead 4-1. Gasquet then fought off four set points on his serve before Ferrer served out the set.
Gasquet earned a string of break points in the second set but was time and again frustrated by Ferrer's dogged resistance from the baseline.
"This was my best match in the season," said Ferrer. "In the second set I had a lot of break points down but I fought a lot and was very focussed to beat him."