VALENCIA, October 30, 2015
With Roberto Bautista-Agut only one Spanish player has been left in the draw of the Valencia Open for the semi-finals on Saturday. The world number 24 from Castellón, who appeared in his first Valencia quarterfinals, was more efficient in his match against German qualifier Mischa Zverev, winning 6-4, 6-3. Bautista-Agut capitalized on his very first break point of the match in the tenth game of the opening set to close the frame. The seventh seeded Spaniard also gained an early break in the second game of the second set to eventually celebrate his 40th match win of the season after one hour and 13 minutes.
“I was a bit nervous to close the match out, but I tried to focus on my first serve and to go point by point. I played great at the deciding moment,” Bautista-Agut told afterwards and added that he does not feel any pressure as the last Spaniard standing in the draw, facing Steve Johnson next. “He is playing well, winning a lot of matches. He is really good on this surface and I have to play extraordinary well to beat him.”
Steve Johnson knocked out sixth seed Guillermo Garcia-López, winning 7-5, 6-4. The world number 33 from the United States showed a full repertoire of his strokes, firing nine aces and won 82% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 27 minutes.
“I just served well, which gave me a chance to stay in both sets. At the end of the sets, I played good games and won the big points,” Johnson was satisfied with his performance and told that this will be his last tournament of the season.
“I am looking forward to the end of this week and then take some time in the off-season, not thinking about tennis for a while and reassess the goals in December. I was in qualies for the Masters in Paris but still being in the main draw here, so I needed to pull out for the qualies. I need a miracle to get in the main draw. So I am here until the end and then back to my house,” the US-American said and seems to enjoy plaing against the locals. “There is no pressure for me. It’s tough for them, as they are playing at home. I hope for another great match tomorrow and hopefully I’ll win the last point.”
Joao Sousa, who appeared in his sixth quarterfinals of the season, defeated Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-4. The number one Portuguese saved all of the five break points he faced, converting two of his own to prevail in one hour and 32 minutes.
“I always try to play my best tennis and fight for every point. This is one of my characteristics and sometimes I am lucky, “ Sousa told with a smile after the encounter. “It was a good match and I am very glad to reach the semis in Valencia, which feels like being at home. Everything is fine here. I was very focused today, although there were a some ups and downs during the match but in the end I was pretty solid,” the world number 46 told and is looking forward to another hard encounter.
Sousa will take on Vasek Pospisil next, who ended the winning streak of German qualifier Daniel Brands through a 6-3, 6-3 victory. The 25-year-old Canadian won 87% of his first service points and saved all four break points he faced to advance after one hour and 14 minutes.