Top seed Robin Soderling powered into the Marseille Open final with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Dmitry Tursunov on Saturday and Marin Cilic joined him after a much sterner test.
Croatia's unseeded Cilic survived a match point at 3-5 in the final set to outlast Russian number three seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 1-6 7-5 to reach Sunday's showpiece where Swede Soderling will be going for a second consecutive tour title.
Soderling won in Rotterdam last week and looks odds-on for another crown after demolishing the previously in-form Tursunov in one hour and 15 minutes on the indoor hardcourt.
The world number four, who also won the Brisbane title in the first week of the season, sent down 11 aces to the Russian's five to close in on a third title in a year for the first time.
"It's true that my start to the year has been quite incredible," twice French Open runner-up Soderling said.
"Today I perhaps lacked a bit of aggression in the first set. I've already played a final here in 2004 when I lost to Dominik Hrbaty but generally I have such good memories of France. I always play really well here."
Cilic, 22, set up a ninth final of his career in contrasting fashion and will now be gunning for a sixth title in only his second meeting with Soderling.
Soderling prevailed comfortably when he played Cilic on the way to the French Open final last year.
"I had a good attitude," Cilic said. "I always believed in myself even when the score was against me."