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Becker Closes On Second 's-Hertogenbosch Title

's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Becker© Getty ImagesBenjamin Becker won the Topshelf Open in 2009.

Benjamin Becker is one win away from reclaiming the Topshelf Open title he won in 2009 after reaching the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over qualifier Joao Sousa.

The German fired 13 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced to prevail in 88 minutes. He lifted the trophy at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament five years ago with a victory over Raemon Sluiter. It is his only ATP World Tour title triumph to date, having finished runner-up in Bangkok in 2007 (l. to Tursunov).

"I always enjoy playing here very much," said Becker. "I like to play on grass and I don’t know why but I often play my best tennis at this tournament.”

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The 33-year-old Becker had won just six tour-level matches coming into ‘s-Hertogenbosch and claimed his first win since the start of April when he toppled fourth seed Marcel Granollers in the first round. He also ousted sixth seed Vasek Pospisil in the quarter-finals.

In Saturday’s final, Becker will face 26-year-old Roberto Bautista Agut for the first time. “Tomorrow will be another tough match in which I’ll probably be the outsider,” said Becker. “But if I serve well, I know that a lot is possible.”

The Spaniard reached his second ATP World Tour final after edging Austrian Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in a battle that lasted two hours and 40 minutes. The 26 year old finished runner-up to Janko Tipsarevic at the Aircel Chennai Open in 2013.

After darkness had suspended play on Thursday evening, eighth seed Melzer and third seed Bautista Agut returned Friday to close out their quarter-final victories and set the semi-final clash.

Beginning their match at the start of the third set, Melzer saved three match points as he edged second seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 7-6(9). Meanwhile, Bautista Agut and defending champion Nicolas Mahut resumed their contest at 3-3 in the first set, with Bautista Agut prevailing 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 over the Frenchman. 

Gonzalez/Lipsky Reach Final
Fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky notched two victories on Friday to secure a place in the Topshelf Open final. After a straight-set win over Benjamin Becker and Oliver Marach, the Mexican-American pair defeated second seeds Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals.

Gonzalez and Lipsky await the winner of the second semi-final, to be played on Saturday, between top seeds Jean-Julian Rojer and Horia Tecau and third seeds Marcel Granollers and Jurgen Melzer. Gonzalez and Lipsky have earned two ATP World Tour team titles this season, in Oeiras and Dusseldorf.

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