RBA Makes Spanish History In Halle
Fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut became the second Spanish semi-finalist in the Gerry Weber Open’s 26-year history on Friday, battling from a break down in the third set to defeat talented Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3.
“It was a really tough match. Karen is playing really good tennis,” Bautista Agut said. “He is very aggressive. He has a very good serve and he plays very good on returns. So it was really tough to beat him today.”
The only other Spaniard to make the final four at the grass-court event was former World No. 1 Carlos Moya, who fell in the 1999 semi-finals. To make it to the weekend, Bautista Agut won six of the final seven games, breaking the 22-year-old’s serve twice in the deciding set.
“I tried to stay there until the last point, to make him play a lot and try to give everything on the court,” Bautista Agut said.
The World No. 16, who captured the biggest trophy of his career in March at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and also triumphed at the ASB Classic earlier in the year, will next face Croatian Borna Coric, who beat Italian Andreas Seppi 7-5, 6-3.
The 21-year-old Coric was competing in just his first grass-court tour-level quarter-final, but he won 88 per cent of first-serve points (28/32) to move past the 2015 finalist. Coric, who captured his 100th tour-level match win on Thursday, holds a 22-10 record in 2018, and has surpassed 20 victories in a season for the fourth consecutive year. He will attempt to reach his fourth ATP World Tour final when he plays Bautista Agut in Saturday's semi-final.
Top Seeds Move Into Halle Final
Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo advanced to the final in Halle, saving two match points in a 6-7(5), 6-3, 12-10 victory against fourth seeds Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram on Friday. The team, which won three grass-court titles last season, will face Alexander Zverev/Mischa Zverev or Nikola Mektic/Alexander Peya for the championship.