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Fabio Fognini saves two match points to thwart top seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the St. Petersburg Open semi-finals.

Fognini Saves 2 M.P. To Set Dzumhur Final

Action-packed semi-finals in St. Petersburg

Fabio Fognini saved two match points as he prevailed in a gripping semi-final clash with Roberto Bautista Agut on Saturday at the St. Petersburg Open, edging the top-seeded Spaniard 2-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5).

Fognini will look to win his sixth ATP World Tour title when he faces Damir Dzumhur in Sunday’s final of this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament. Dzumhur reached his second ATP World Tour final as he defeated eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-5.

Fognini, who was a finalist in St. Petersburg five years ago (l. to Klizan), battled past Bautista Agut in a pulsating clash, lasting two hours and 28 minutes. Bautista Agut led the contest 6-2, 3-1 and held two match points at 6/5 and 7/6 in the second set tie-break, but could not close out the win. Neither player could engineer a break of serve in the decider, and from 3/5 down in the tie-break, Fognini won the last four points to prevail.

"It was a really tough match at the beginning," said Fognini. "He was playing really fast and really solid at the same time. I'm really happy that I came back to win."

The 30-year-old Fognini is chasing his second title of the season, following victory on clay in Gstaad in July (d. Hanfmann). This would be his first hard-court title. The right-hander leads Dzumhur 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The 25-year-old Dzumhur is enjoying a career-best year and has surged to a career-high World No. 55 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final in Los Cabos (l. to Querrey) followed by his first final in Winston-Salem (l. to Bautista Agut).

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In his first ATP meeting with the 6’5’’ Struff, the 5’9’’ Dzumhur withstood seven aces as he converted five of his seven break points to prevail in 80 minutes.

"It was a great day for me," said Dzumhur. "I played from the start until the end at a high level. I think I took my chances. Today was one of the best matches of the past few months for me. I'm really happy to go through to my second final.

"I knew that I had to play better than yesterday (against Liam Broady) and I tried to fix the things that didn't work yesterday, especially my serve and my forehand. Also, my returns were great. I was making him play more, because he likes fast points. I think I won because I didn't give him easy balls that he likes."

Jebavy/Middelkoop Upset Second Seeds
Roman Jebavy and Matwe Middelkoop reached their first ATP World Tour doubles final together as they denied second seeds Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-1. The Czech/Dutch duo will face top seeds Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos in the final.