Bautista Augut outlasts Johnson to reach Valencia Open final
VALENCIA, Spain (AP) Roberto Bautista Agut saved six match points before beating American Steve Johnson 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) Saturday to reach the final of the Valencia Open.
Johnson had his first match point in the 12th game of the deciding set and then led 6-3 in the tiebreaker without being able to clinch the win. Bautista Agut then set up his first match point with a backhand return winner and converted it when Johnson sent a backhand long.
He will play Joao Sousa in the final after the Portuguese player beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.
”It was an incredible match,” Bautista Augut said. ”It was really tough and I was really close to losing. I think today I could win, I could lose – anything was possible on the court.”
Sousa broke Pospisil in the fifth game with a deep forehand return which forced an error as his opponent sent his forehand long. Sousa then took full control by breaking Pospisil to love at the start of the second set, and after saving two break points in the sixth game he cruised to the victory.
”I was very solid from the baseline,” Sousa said. ”I know him very well and I was able to make my tactics work against him today.”
Sousa is chasing his first title of the year.