There will be a local hero in the ASB Classic final.
Cameron Norrie is not officially a Kiwi – he switched allegiance to Great Britain as a 17-year-old – but the Auckland raised left hander is as close as we are going to get at the moment.
Norrie outlasted German warrior Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5 4-6 6-3 in just under two hours on Friday afternoon, in a gripping contest in sweltering conditions.
It was a courageous effort from Struff, whose doubles match didn't finish until 12:30am on Friday morning, after he went on court at 11:15pm, following his marathon singles semi final victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.
The margins were as fine as they come, but in the end a single service break in the third set was enough to ensure Norrie's passage to the final.
It's a momentous moment for the 23-year-old, who has reached his first ATP final in his own backyard.
Norrie, clearly feeling the emotion, got the wobbles slightly when serving for the match, with two double faults to start the game, before recovering with the mental strength he has exhibited all week, sealing the match with a smash.
The first set was a tight affair. Norrie again showed his ability with smarts and guile, rather than the unrelenting power that is the modus operandi of most young players. He takes his backhand earlier than many others, using the power generated by his opponents shot and directing it where it can do most damage.
He also displayed an outstanding ability to scramble. On more than a few occasions in the first set the German thought the point was won, before Norrie would make an athletic retrieval, particularly when Struff tried a drop shot.
The Auckland-raised player also managed what most thought impossible; lobbing the 1.96m Struff, despite being off-balance and on the run.
Both players fended off break point opportunities throughout the first set, until Norrie took his chance at the best possible time.
At 6-5 up, he forced two set points, taking the second when a rushed Struff groundstroke floated wide.
Norrie had all the momentum, but the German then immediately grabbed it back, breaking the Norrie serve for first time this week.
Before this match Norrie had held 31 straight service games in this tournament – saving 14 break points – but he seemed to relax at the start of the second set and was punished by world No 58 Struff.
Both players struggled more on serve in the second set – as mental and physical tiredness started to show – but the German had the edge, as Norrie was a bit loose for the first time this week.
Norrie fought hard, saving five consecutive set points at one point, but Struff eventually wrapped up the second set with a routine hold.
The world No 90 Norrie lifted again at the start of the final set, breaking the German immediately.
Struff, who had spent four and a half hours on court on Thursday night, showed his weariness at times, before coming up with a big point.
But he couldn't retrieve the break, leaving Norrie to claim one of the most important wins of his career to date.