ATP Shanghai: Roberto Bautista Agut advances to semi-finals with a comfortable win

In a surprise, the Spaniard outclassed Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to deservedly earn a spot in the final four.

ATP Shanghai: Roberto Bautista Agut advances to semi-finals with a comfortable win
Roberto Bautista Agut celebrates after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Shanghai quarterfinals/Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images
Roberto Bautista Agut
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Roberto Bautista Agut produced an impressive display to outgun Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and advance to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the first time with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Tsonga loses plot early, Bautista Agut runs away with the first set

The Frenchman reached the final last year and he was under pressure to defend those points. Early on, it looked as though nerves got the better of him as Bautista Agut broke in Tsonga's first two service games, the Frenchman battling back to deuce the first time, but meekly surrendering to 15 the second. The 15th seed was never troubled on his own serve, losing just three points in his first three service games before Tsonga finally broke in the eighth game to pull back to 5-3. The momentum was entirely short-lived as the Spaniard broke for a third time to 30, clinching the set.

Roberto Bautista Agut stretches for a forehand during his quarterfinal win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Roberto Bautista Agut stretches for a forehand during his quarterfinal win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Bautista Agut breaks at the very end to seal the match and a semifinal berth

The inconsistencies that plagued Tsonga to begin the match were behind him to start the second set as he held, a trend that saw the first five games go by without a deuce point played. In the sixth game, Tsonga saved the first break point of the set, a must if he was to have any chance and he was still alive.

Roberto Bautista Agut is fired up after an impressive win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Shanghai Rolex Masters/Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Roberto Bautista Agut is fired up after an impressive win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Shanghai Rolex Masters/Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

In the tenth game, Bautista Agut made his move, setting up match point at 15-40. He didn't convert on his first chance, but he was able to come through on his second opportunity, a fine performance rewarded with a thoroughly deserved semifinal spot.

Bautista Agut talks about his win, meeting with Djokovic next

After the win, the Spaniard spoke about his performance and semifinal meeting with top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic: "I'm happy about being in the semi-finals. But also, I'm happy with the way I'm working, with the way I'm planning all my days, with the way I'm playing on the court," said Bautista Agut.

"I'm feeling great. I hope to continue like this. "I played with a lot of intensity. I put a lot of pressure on the return and I played my game. I was calm. I was very concentrated in all the match. I think putting a lot of rhythm to make the match with high intensity was the key to beating him."

Roberto Bautista Agut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shake hands following the Spaniard's straight sets win in Shanghai/Photo: Brian Lee/Getty Images
Roberto Bautista Agut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shake hands following the Spaniard's straight sets win in Shanghai/Photo: Brian Lee/Getty Images

The 15th seed is 0-5 lifetime against the Serb: "I am playing well and I'm doing the things well to face Novak," said the Spaniard. "For sure it's a good moment to face him. Novak is one of the best tennis players in history. I played against him a couple of really good matches. I know if I play good I can make it a difficult match for him."

For Tsonga, he was surprisingly upbeat following the loss: "For me, it was a little surprise to play like this, this week," said Tsonga. "I hope I will continue to improve like this in the next few days and play better in the next tournament. Today was still good, I just lost to a guy who was better than me."