Tsitsipas Soars Into First Grass-Court Final In Mallorca

Bautista Agut overcomes Swiss qualifier Bellier

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first tour-level final on grass Friday when he overcame Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 6-4 at the Mallorca Championships.

The Greek demonstrated great footwork to dictate on his aggressive forehand, while he held his nerve in the crucial moments, saving all three break points he faced to advance after one hour and 32 minutes.

The second seed, who is making his debut at the ATP 250 event, also defeated Bonzi on the grass in Halle last week before he lost to Australian Nick Kyrgios.

“It was a good match. I am very happy today,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “I have played a final a week before a Grand Slam before. It was the year I made the final at Roland Garros, in Lyon. It worked out pretty well to have that final and consistency of matches. It is different this time. We are talking about a different surface, so we will see.”

With his victory, Tsitsipas has now earned a Tour-leading 39 wins this season and will face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in what will be his fourth final of the season. The 23-year-old retained his title in Monte Carlo in April, either side of final defeats in Rotterdam and Rome.

In a tight first set in Spain, it was Tsitsipas who made the decisive move, breaking Bonzi in the ninth game before he held to lead. Fuelled by confidence, the Greek continued to find his rhythm from the baseline in the second set. He took his forehand early to take time away from the Frenchman, forcing Bonzi into errors as he closed out the match.

Bonzi had not dropped a set en route to the semi-finals, having earned the second biggest win of his career when he upset World No. 16 Denis Shapovalov in the second round. It was the second time the World No. 56 had advanced to a tour-level semi-final, after he enjoyed a run to the championship match in Marseille in February.

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Bautista Agut advanced to his 20th tour-level final and second on grass with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Swiss qualifier Antoine Bellier.

The Spaniard, who captured the crown on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2014, rallied from a break down in the second set to seal victory after 79 minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting, ending Bellier's dream run in the process.

The fifth seed now holds a 40-17 grass-court record and will aim to win his second tour-level title of the year when he faces Tstisipas, having lifted the trophy in Doha.

World No. 303 Bellier was the lowest-ranked semi-finalist on the ATP Tour since then-World No. 335 Juan Manuel Cerundolo lifted the trophy in Cordoba last season. Despite defeat, the Swiss qualifier is up to No. 215 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his standout performances in Spain.

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