Ernests Gulbis dropped only one first serve in his victory over defending champion Albert Montanes.
Ernests Gulbis dropped only one first serve in his victory over defending champion Albert Montanes.
CLAUDIO ONORATI/EPA

NICE, France (AP) - Second-seeded Ernests Gulbis will meet Federico Delbonis in the Open de Nice final after brushing aside defending champion Albert Montanes on Friday.

Gulbis of Latvia dropped just one point on his first serve on his way to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard.

''He allowed me to play,'' Gulbis said. ''I felt confident from the first rally on. I had good timing. The first set was one of the best sets I have played.''

The seventh-seeded Delbonis ousted fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4.

Gulbis has won all five of his previous finals on the ATP tour, and triumphed in Marseille in February.

Delbonis, who beat top-seeded John Isner in the quarterfinals, is 1-1 in his previous tour finals. The 23-year-old Argentine lifted his first title in Sao Paolo in March, after losing in Hamburg last year.

''It was a pretty good match,'' Delbonis said. ''Gilles always fights and he showed it in the second set when he broke me. But I took control again. ''The final will be very similar to the match against Isner. Ernests has a strong service. If I am focused, I will always have a chance.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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