Kohlschreiber to face Fognini in Stuttgart final

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Seed number two Philipp Kohlschreiber reached his second final on home soil this year after dismissing unseeded Romanian Victor Hanescu, ranked 51st in the semis of teh Stuttgart Open 2013.

The recent Munich runner-up German took advantage of the first opportunity to seize the opponent’s serve in the fifth game of the opener and went 4-2 up after denying the Romanian to break back in the follow-up game. The latter suffered another loss of serve a few minutes later and enabled his rival to move one set ahead. Kohlschreiber remained in a commanding position as he escaped to 3-0 in the beginning of the set two and went close to breaking Hanescu for the second time in a row. However, the Romanian managed to hold in the end and won the following two games as well to make it 3-3. The home crowd favorite struggled in the following service game, yet he rescued a couple of break balls before restoring his one break advantage in the eighth game. He served the match out with a hold to love to reach his first Mercedes Cup final. End result: 6-3, 6-3.

Kohlschreiber’s final challenger will be fifth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini – he beat top seed Haas in the quarter-finals – who had an easy day at the office against World no. 58 Robert Bautista Agut and won in straight sets. The first one was done and dusted in twenty-three minutes with the Spaniard dropping all four of his serves and losing five consecutive games after 1-1. Things were going from bad to worse for him as he fell 0-3 behind in the second set, yet he succeeded to break back by 3-4 to keep his hopes alive. The Italian prevented a comeback though by breaking his rival for the second time in the set and confirming the break to advance to Stuttgart final with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Kohlshcreiber is leading their head-to-head score 2-0.

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