World No.1 tennis player Daniil Medvedev of Russia overcame the challenge of Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal clash against home favourite Oscar Otte in the Terra Wortmann Open -- an ATP 500 event -- here.
The 26-year-old Russian's serve proved a crucial weapon at key moments in the one-hour, 27-minute clash. A combination of power and accuracy with his delivery helped the top seed save all nine break points he faced against the Spaniard.
The win was Medvedev's first against the Spaniard in four attempts. Bautista Agut was making his fourth quarterfinal appearance in Halle and produced some high-class tennis as he bid to match his semifinal run from 2018, yet he was unable to convert his break point chances as Medvedev sent down a barrage of big serves to frequently dig himself out of trouble.
"Well first of all, he's a great player," said Medvedev when asked about his past struggles against Bautista Agut. "I remember all the matches we had... He was playing some (great) tennis and it was tough for me to win. Today I had my plan, managed to keep it going. Definitely got more edge on the most important points, because he had more break points than me. It was not easy, and I'm happy to win," the Russian was quoted as saying by atptour.com.
Medvedev will now chase a 25th tour-level championship match appearance in a semifinal clash against Oscar Otte, after the home favourite earlier defeated eighth seed Karen Khachanov of Russia, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Otte is making his tournament debut in Halle, and the 28-year-old is currently projected to rise to No. 36 in the ATP Live Rankings thanks to his run to the final four. Victory in Saturday's semifinal will push him even higher to No. 31, and Medvedev is expecting a tough test from the German.
"I know that he's a great player, especially on grass and he plays very good on clay also," said Medvedev. "He made the semis (in Stuttgart) last week, losing to Matteo (Berrettini) (Italy) in two tie-breakers. So he's a great player, great serve, great volleyer -- So it's not going to be easy. I need to prepare well, show my best tennis and try to win.
"We've warmed up twice (together) and practiced once (this week), even playing a set which ended in a tie-break. So we've started to know each other better and better, so it's actually fun that we are playing each other tomorrow, because when you practice with one player a lot, it's fun to see him in the tournament later in the week. But tomorrow we are definitely not going to be friends!"