Spain's David Ferrer overcame 15 aces from Milos Raonic to book his fourth final at the Barcelona Open on Saturday with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5) win against the Canadian.
Third seed Ferrer, the ATP number six, has lost all three of his previous finals here to six-time champion Rafael Nadal.
The king of clay was bidding for another title shot as he played compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the second semi-final holding a 12-0 career record in the series.
Raonic had turned in a breakthrough week on the clay of the Real Club de Tenis, winning all of his matches in straight sets. He defeated Spaniard Nicolas Almagro and upset second-seeded world number four Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old, ranked 25th, threatened early in the opening set against Ferrer but could not convert on four break chances.
Raonic saved six set points in the opening set before Ferrer finally clinched it in the tiebreaker from the Canadian's netted forehand.
In the second, the pair stayed on level-pegging, with Raonic saving the lone break point of the set in the 11th game.
In the second decider, Raonic salvaged a match point as a return caught the line. But Ferrer advanced on his second opportunity from a Raonic error.
Ferrer improved to 28-4 this season with three titles.