SF previews and predictions: Bautista Agut vs. Fognini, Kohlschreiber vs. Mayer

A marquee semifinal matchup in Gstaad will pit Roberto Bautista Agut against Fabio Fognini on Saturday. At the 500-point event in Hamburg, meanwhile, an all-German affair features Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer.

Swiss Open Gstaad: (4) Fabio Fognini vs. (2) Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut and Fognini will be squaring off for the seventh time in their careers when they battle for a place in the Gstaad final on Saturday. Fognini is leading the head-to-head series 4-2, including 2-1 on clay. The two veterans have not faced each other since a string of meetings in 2014, when Fognini got the job done in Miami and Monte-Carlo before Bautista Agut exacted revenge with a 6-3, 6-4 clay-court victory in the Stuttgart semis.

Both players earned first-round byes as top four seeds, but it has been a tale of two different tournaments since then. Fognini fought past Norbert Gombos and then held off Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Bautista Agut booked his spot in the final four with routine defeats of qualifier Gleb Sakharov and Denis Istomin. Ranked 13 spots ahead of the Italian at No. 18 in the world, Bautista Agut is an outstanding 31-12 this season. The Spaniard’s consistency will likely be too much more than often-erratic Fognini.

Pick: Bautista Agut in 2

German Tennis Championships: Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Floridan Mayer

Kohlschreiber and Mayer will be meeting for the fifth time in their careers at the ATP level and for the third time in a row at home in Germany when the two compatriots collide again on Saturday. The head-to-head series stands at 3-1 in favor of Kohlschreiber, who lost to Mayer on the red clay of Stuttgart seven years ago before rolling 6-3, 6-2 last season in Munich. Kohlschreiber’s other victories came in 2008 (Auckland) and 2010 (via first-set retirement in Miami).

Struggling down at No. 101 in the world due to both physical problems and poor play, Mayer will be back in the top 100 next week–with room to spare. Projected to reach 65th in the rankings even if he loses to Kohlschreiber, the 33-year-old has advanced in Hamburg by taking out Marco Cecchinato, Andrey Kuznetsov, an Diego Schwartzman, dropping sets to Kuznetsov and Schwartzman in the process. The same age as his fellow German, Kohlschreiber has been slipping slowly down the chart and comes in at 58th in the world. He needed some success this week and that is exactly what he has achieved, beating Andrey Rublev (6-3, 6-1), Gilles Simon (three sets), and Nicolas Kicker (three sets). This is a big opportunity for Kohlschreiber to keep it going, as Mayer owns just eight ATP-level match wins in 2017 and had not been back to a semifinal since capturing the Halle title last summer.

Pick: Kohlschreiber in 3

5 Comments on SF previews and predictions: Bautista Agut vs. Fognini, Kohlschreiber vs. Mayer

  1. Wow!!…Bizarre ending in hamburg!…Kohli leading a set 2 3 in the 2nd..and suddenly he retired!…He’s not showing he suffered much in this match and not even call a physio to look at his calf…he just retired!Just like that!…Even Mayer stunned of his decision!…Very bizarre!…And there goes my Bracket!…Argh!!

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