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Question of the Day
‘s-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands (AP) - Third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain emerged victorious from a marathon day at the grass-court Topshelf Open, advancing to the final with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Juergen Melzer of Austria.
Both players played twice Friday, finishing quarterfinals that had been suspended because of rain and darkness.
Bautista Agut will play for his second ATP title after losing to Janko Tipsarevic in Chennai in 2013. He faces Benjamin Becker of Germany in the final.
Becker, the 2009 tournament champion, served up 13 aces and beat Joao Sousa 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the other men’s semifinal.
“I like to play on grass and I don’t know why but I often play my best tennis at this tournament,” Becker was quoted saying on the ATP’s website.
The 8th-seeded Melzer broke Bautista Agut’s service game to open the match and coasted through the first set. But in the second set it was Bautista Agut’s turn to dominate the rallies.
In the decider Bautista Agut surrendered his serve in the fourth game and threw his racket to the grass in disgust.
After regrouping, he broke Melzer back in the following game, and went on to take the tiebreaker.
In the women’s tournament, Zheng Jie of China reached her first WTA final in 2 1/2 years when she beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-3.
Zheng won in her last final appearance in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2012, for her fourth career title.
She broke Rybarikova six times, and will meet qualifier Coco Vandeweghe of the United States in the final.
Vandeweghe beat 2005 champion Klara Koukalova 6-4, 6-2 with nine aces. The American has a 1-1 record against Zheng and will play in only her second final, looking for her maiden title.
Earlier Friday in the men’s quarterfinals suspended overnight because of rain, Bautista Agut ended the title defense of seventh-seeded Nicolas Mahut of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Melzer outlasted second-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain. Their match had been suspended at one set all, and Melzer prevailed 7-6 (3), 6-7 (6), 7-6 (9) after more than three hours.
Despite losing the semifinal, the outing was Melzer’s best result since he returned to the tour in mid-April from a seven-month layoff for a shoulder injury.
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