Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz secured impressive wins on grass as they signed off preparations for Wimbledon with successes at the Mallorca Open and Eastbourne International respectively.
Greek world No. 3 Tsitsipas beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 3-6 7-6(2) to claim a first title on grass with success at the Mallorca Country Club.
It was Tsitsipas' first tour-level grass-court final after he beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-4 6-4 in Friday's semi-final, while Bautista Agut upset top seed Daniil Medvedev in Thursday’s quarter-finals.
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The Greek held a 2-0 head-to-head record over Bautista Agut ahead of the meeting - winning 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 at the 2019 Australian Open and 7-5 7-5 at the 2021 ATP Cup – and set about establishing first-set dominance behind his forehand, racing into a four-game lead.
The 23-year-old, whose best showing at Wimbledon was the last 16 in 2018, would take the set 6-4 before breaking again early in the second set to establish a 3-1 lead.
With his serve faltering, Bautista Agut was in trouble at deuce in the fifth game of the second set, but held his nerve to hold before winning the next four games on the bounce to send the final to a decider.
There, a break of serve from 40-0 down in the fourth game looked to have re-set the initiative and set the world No. 3 on course for a first title on grass. However, Bautista Agut would again rally to level at five-apiece, and with two holds to follow, the match was settled on a tiebreaker.
The Greek star would dominate that to ease to a first grass-court title.
Tsitsipas and Bautista Agut face Alexander Ritschard and Attila Balazs respectively in their first-round matches at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Fritz held off a valiant effort from Maxime Cressy, winning 6-2 6(4)-7 7-6(4) to win the Eastbourne International.
Fritz won his first tour-level title in Eastbourne back in 2019, and he beat Alex de Minaur on Friday to set up an all-American showdown with Cressy. Cressy, meanwhile, beat Brits Daniel Evans in round two, Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals and Jack Draper in the last four in an impressive run to set up a first meeting with world No. 14 Fritz.
However, losses of serve in the first and the seventh games of the first set look set to put Fritz on course for a third career title to add to his previous success in Eastbourne in 2019 and Indian Wells earlier this year.
The second set was a far closer affair, though, as Cressy’s serve and volley game came to the fore and it was settled by a tie-breaker that the world No. 60 would take to send it to a deciding set. That would also be settled by a tiebreaker, but Fritz’s superior serve – he faced no break points during the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter – would prove decisive as he picked up a third career title and his second of 2022.
Cressy will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in Wimbledon on Monday before Fritz takes on Lorenzo Musetti on Tuesday.
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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29/11/2022 AT 14:04