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Bellucci to face Johnson in Houston final

Making his debut at the tournament, Brazilian eighth seed Thomaz Bellucci rallied to beat Ernesto Escobedo 5-7 6-4 6-2 in Houston.

Bellucci-cropped
Brazilian tennis player Thomaz Bellucci

Thomaz Bellucci advanced to his maiden US Men's Clay Court Championship final, where he will meet fellow seed Steve Johnson.

Making his debut at the tournament, Brazilian eighth seed Bellucci rallied to beat Ernesto Escobedo 5-7 6-4 6-2 in Houston on Saturday.

Bellucci had plenty of break point opportunities - 11 in total - and he converted four as he progressed to his first ATP Tour final of the season and the eighth of his career.

After triumphing in an hour, 55 minutes, Bellucci - a four-time Tour winner with his titles all coming on clay - said: "I didn't expect to play this well because I came Sunday night. I just practised once before the first round."

Standing in the way of Bellucci and a fifth trophy is fourth-seeded American Johnson.

Johnson caused a big upset in the semi-finals, stunning top seed and last year's runner-up Jack Sock 4-6 6-4 6-3.

After dropping the opening set, Johnson - who won the Aegon Open in 2016 - battled back by tallying 12 aces, seven of those coming in the third and final set.

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