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Albert Ramos-Vinolas saves six of the eight break points he faces to defeat Pablo Andujar in the Gstaad semi-finals.

Ramos-Vinolas Ousts Former Champion Andujar In Gstaad

Stebe to compete for first ATP Tour title

Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas reached his first ATP Tour semi-final of the season last week in Båstad. And this week, he has played even better, advancing to the final of the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad on Saturday with a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory against 2014 champion Pablo Andujar.

"I'm really happy," Ramos-Vinolas said. "I have a chance to play another final tomorrow here in Gstaad. I love this tournament, I feel great. I'm really happy and I'm ready to give my 200 per cent."

Ramos-Vinolas has won all eight of his sets this week, defeating three of the ATP 250 tournament’s seeds. Entering the semi-finals, the lefty had only emerged victorious in one of seven previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Andujar, but Ramos-Vinolas claimed 43 per cent of his first-serve return points en route to victory in one hour and 54 minutes.

The 31-year-old is into his first tour-level final since Quito last year. Ramos-Vinolas has made six championship matches, with his lone ATP Tour title coming at Båstad in 2016.

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The former World No. 17 was broken first in the match, giving Andujar a 5-3 lead after Ramos-Vinolas couldn’t stave off a sixth break point of the game. But he broke back immediately, and stormed to a 4/0 lead in the first-set tie-break, never looking back from there. There was a rain delay with two points remaining in the match, but Ramos-Vinolas won two points upon the resumption to go through.

"It's never easy, but I felt good," Ramos-Vinolas said. "I won a little bit of a lucky point the last point before we stopped... it was difficult for me, but I thought it was more difficult for him."

Ramos-Vinolas will face German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the final. Stebe rallied past Portugal's Joao Sousa 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 after one hour and 59 minutes.

Entering the week, Stebe had not won a tour-level match since September 2017. The German, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, underwent two right wrist surgeries last year and another this February. But he reached his first ATP Tour final on Saturday, breaking Sousa's serve seven times to triumph.

Earlier in the day, Stebe defeated Italian Thomas Fabbiano in the quarter-finals. Stebe is currently the No. 455 player in the ATP Rankings, but he is projected to climb to the fringe of the Top 250, and a victory on Sunday will send him soaring into the Top 200. 

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