Aug 25 (Reuters) - Roberto Bautista Agut has a chance to make amends for last year’s loss in the title-decider after an emphatic semi-final victory at the Winston-Salem Open on Friday night.
The Spanish top seed was far too good for German Jan-Lennard Struff, winning 6-2 6-4 on an unseasonably mild evening on the North Carolina hardcourt.
He will meet Damir Dzumhur in the final on Saturday, after the weary Bosnian recovered from a poor start to roar into his first career final with a 1-6 7-5 6-3 win over Briton Kyle Edmund.
Bautista Agut showed his class by keeping his mistakes to a minimum, making only nine unforced errors against 36 by his opponent.
On match point, the Spaniard scurried back from the net to retrieve a lob, hitting a ‘tweener’ shot between his legs, before running down a drop shot and poking a winner down the line.
World number 15 Bautista Agut lost last year’s final to fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
World number 67 Dzumhur hardly had an ideal preparation for the event.
He did not arrive in Winston-Salem until the early hours of Monday morning, after reaching a final of a Challenger Tour event in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.
He was back on court later on Monday, and five days later will play in the final, two days before the start of the U.S. Open.
But Dzumhur looked headed for an early getaway to New York after barely troubling Edmund in a one-sided first set.
”I was a little bit tired,“ Dzumhur said. ”In second set I tried to hold my serve and I broke him in a game when he was 40-15 up, and in that moment everything changed.
”My first final, this is a special day for me.
“As the adrenaline comes up you don’t feel (tired) anymore. I think I will be ready for the final. It’s my first final, so I have to be.” (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)