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Ferrer aiming for sixth title this year in Valencia final

(Reuters) - Local favorite and top seed David Ferrer will meet Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Valencia Open final after beating unseeded Croat Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-7 6-1 on Saturday.

The world number five, who has a shot at his sixth title of the season in Sunday's showpiece, finally ground down his opponent after two hours and 42 minutes.

"Dodig served very well throughout and made it very difficult for me," the 2008 and 2010 Valencia champion Ferrer was quoted as saying on the tournament website.

After losing a second-set tiebreak, Ferrer recovered to ease past his tiring opponent in the third.

"I tried to forget about what happened in the second set, I knew I was playing well," said the Spaniard. "I knew that if I was able to break his serve I would be able to win."

Ferrer has already qualified for next month's World Tour Finals in London along with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro.

Former world number one Rafael Nadal has withdrawn with his long-standing knee injury and there are two places still up for grabs.

Dolgopolov, who knocked out defending champion Marcel Granollers in the quarter-finals on Friday, swept aside Valencia debutant Juergen Melzer of Austria 6-4 6-2 in the second semi.

(Reporting by Mark Elkington in Madrid, editing by Ken Ferris)

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