ATP Halle: Alexander Zverev moves on. Bautista Agut to face Roger Federer


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ATP Halle: Alexander Zverev moves on. Bautista Agut to face Roger Federer

World no. 5 and the 2nd seed Alexander Zverev has scored the 25th triumph in 2019, beating Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 16 minutes. Two-time Halle finalist suffered a nasty fall in the first round against Robin Haase and injuring a knee that forced him to skip the doubles encounter with his brother Mischa.

Still, the young German was ready to play today, dropping only 12 points on serve and repelling both break points he fought against to mount the pressure on the American who couldn't endure it. Facing six break points, Steve got broken three times to propel Zverev into the quarters where he will face David Goffin.

The German saved those two break points in the fourth game, moving ahead three games later when Johnson sprayed a forehand error. Returning at 5-3, Alexander landed a forehand winner to claim the opener, having to work harder in set number two.

The American raised his level in set number two, staying in touch until game 12 when Zverev broke him at 15 to seal the deal and remain on the title course. The 7th seed Roberto Bautista Agut took down Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-4 after just 62 minutes, with the Frenchman competing on a much lower level required for this kind of encounter.

The Spaniard erased both break points he played against and stole rival's serve thrice to march into the quarters where he will face Roger Federer. Stuttgart champion Matteo Berrettini secured the seventh straight victory on grass when he toppled Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, losing serve for the first time in that swing but playing better and better as the match progressed to book the place in the quarters.

The veteran grabbed the opener with a break in game seven for a perfect start but that couldn't last, with Matteo finding the range on serve in sets two and three, losing only ten points and mounting the pressure on Seppi who failed to follow that pace.

At 3-3 in set number two, the younger Italian saved a break point with a service winner, breaking for the first time and blasting an ace for a hold at love and 6-3. Seppi had nothing more left in the tank, giving serve away twice in the decider to push the young compatriot into the quarters after another rock-solid performance and the 25th triumph in 2019.