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Roberto Bautista Agut celebrates a comeback win over Gael Monfils on Friday for a Montreal quarter-final berth.

Bautista Agut Saves 1 M.P. To Edge Monfils In Montreal

Consistent Spaniard ends Monfils run

Roberto Bautista Agut found a way to win on Thursday in a gutsy comeback against Gael Monfils for a place in the Coupe Rogers quarter-finals.

The Spanish No. 12 seed played second fiddle to his French opponent, a winner of their three previous meetings, for the first hour, but then clawed his way back into contention – and saved one match point at 5-6 in the deciding set – to triumph 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(1) in three hours.

“I’m happy, as I knew I would have to play a lot of rallies,” said Bautista Agut. “I’m going to try and recover and enjoy the win today before preparing for tomorrow’s match.”

Bautista Agut, into his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final, will now prepare to challenge second seed and two-time former champion Roger Federer or his Spanish compatriot David Ferrer on Friday. Bautista Agut is 0-6 lifetime against Federer in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and 1-2 against Ferrer.

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Monfils, who had struggled with knee tendinitis in saving four match points against Kei Nishikori on Wednesday, played with great composure and forehand fluency to lead by a set and 3-1, before Bautista Agut produced consistent length of stroke, which resulted in telling pressure.

Bautista Agut recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the second set to win four of the next five games for a 5-4 advantage. Aggressive on his forehand, Bautista Agut showed his first sign of nerves at 2/2 in the tie-break with a wild stroke wide, yet Monfils – with strapping on both his knees and beginning to tire – could not capitalise. The tide turned after a lung-busting 24-stroke rally at 5/5 in the tie-break, which ended when Monfils mis-timed a forehand long.

Bautista Agut saved one match point at 5-6, 30/40 in the deciding set with a big serve out wide on the Ad court that Monfils was unable to return. The Spaniard, currently No. 16 in the Emirates ATP Rankings - six places higher than Monfils, won the first four points of the tie-break.

Bautista Agut has been a semi-finalist at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Nadal) and a runner-up at the 2016 Rolex Shanghai Masters (l. to Murray).

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