Washington: Czech Radek Stepanek, the oldest player in the world's top 100 at age 32, ousted American Donald Young 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final of the $1.4 million ATP Washington Classic.
Stepanek, who also became the oldest ATP finalist of the year, will play for his fifth career title in Sunday's final against the winner of a later match between American John Isner and French top seed Gael Monfils.
Stepanek, ranked 54th, has split two meetings with Isner, losing in this year's second round of the Australian Open, and lost five of seven meetings with Monfils, including their most recent clash two weeks ago on Hamburg clay.
It will be Stepanek's first final since last year at Brisbane. The Czech veteran, who last won an ATP crown in 2009 at San Jose, could reach 30th in the rankings with what he said would be the biggest title of his career.
"This tournament can give me a kick for the rest of the season," Stepanek said. "If I can make it to the US Open and be seeded, that would be great for me."
Young, a 22-year-old left-hander ranked 128th, was playing in the first ATP semi-final of his seven-year career. But he became the fourth southpaw in a row ousted by Stepanek, who credits left-handed coach Petr Korda for the run.
"I was ready for it," Stepanek said. "I got on top of him and I got control of him and that's how it was to the last point."
Stepanek broke Young in the fifth game of the first set and again in the last, the American sending a backhand volley beyond the baseline to surrender the break and the set.
Stepanek won the first nine points of the second set, then fought off Young's only two break-point chances in the third game to hold and kept his serve to the finish, which came after 78 minutes on a service winner.
"I was trying to attack his forehand so I could push him on his backhand on the court," Stepanek said. "I thought I worked it pretty well tactically."
Young took the positives out of a breakthrough week but wished he had given Stepanek a tougher test.
"He took me out of my game pretty well, didn't let me get set," Young said. "I was a little off but credit that a lot to him. I wasn't nervous, except that I felt him taking me out of my game. He had me quite flustered."