DUBAI – Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut and Frenchman Lucas Pouille advanced on Friday to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with victories over Malek Jaziri and Filip Krajinovic, respectively.
The third-seeded Bautista-Agut topped the Tunisian wildcard 6-3, 6-4 in fairly straightforward fashion, although the Spaniard struggled more on serve in the second set and was broken on one occasion.
The Spaniard won the players’ first career meeting thanks to his opportunistic play on return, including converting all three of his break-point chances.
The second-seeded Pouille had a much tougher battle on Friday but managed to get past his Serbian opponent 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5) in two hours and 19 minutes.
The match was interrupted by rain for eight minutes toward the end of the second set.
Pouille, who has been on a hot streak since the Australian Open, was better in the important moments and more effective with his first serve, winning 86 percent of those points and firing 16 aces.
Krajinovic won 74 percent of his first-serve points and tallied six aces.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has now reached the final of three of his last four tournaments and can enter the top 10 of the ATP rankings for the first time with a victory over Bautista-Agut in Saturday evening’s final of this hard-court event.