An intriguing semi-final match-up is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, as Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut meet for the sixth time on the professional tour. Fognini leads the head-to-head series 4-1, which includes two consecutive wins this season at both the Monte Carlo Masters and the Miami Masters. The Italian also beat Agut dominantly last season at this very event, which will likely factor into their meeting on Saturday.
Defending champion Fabio Fognini reached the final four with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over seventh seed Santiago Giraldo. The top seed won 74% of his first service points, served 2 aces and converted two of his six break point chances to earn the win in 80 minutes.
“I think I played better than yesterday,” said Fognini. “I’m happy I have another opportunity to play tomorrow in the same semi-final as last year. But I think it will be completely different. He’s improved a lot in the past year. He’s in good shape, but me too. I feel great, especially at this tournament. It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m ready.”
Roberto Bautista Agut reached the MercedesCup semi-finals on Friday with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) victory over fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
“We played a long, tough match,” said Bautista Agut. “Guillermo was playing really good. At the start, I was missing some balls and was not feeling great. I just didn’t want to give him the match, so I kept fighting to get my game back and everything changed. In the end, I think I went for it more than him, I was more aggressive in the tie-break.”
This marks the sixth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Fognini leading the series 4-1. He has won the last three consecutive meetings dating back to his 6-1, 6-3 win over Agut at this event last season. His streak will likely extend further if he produces his top game on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut in Three Sets