Wawrinka battles past Bautista-Agut

Stan Wawrinka had to survive a fierce challenge from Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut before finally gaining the upper hand in their semi-final clash at the St. Petersburg Open on Saturday.

The duo were locked in a fierce battle during a tightly-contested, 76-minute first set, but Wawrinka was able to emerge on top before going on to win the second set much more comfortably for a 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 victory.

Bautista-Agut was forced to save a break point in only the second game of the match, and then faced two more in game six, saving those as well.

He then very nearly broke Wawrinka's serve during a marathon game seven that went to deuce several times, though the Swiss also averted the danger.

The Spaniard squandered another break point at 5-5, leaving it to a tie-break to settle matters, which Wawrinka claimed courtesy of two mini breaks to one.

From there, the reigning US Open champ took control, breaking in the first game of the second set to deliver a near killing blow.

Another break followed at 4-2, with match point following soon after.

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Awaiting Wawrinka in the final is Germany's Alexander Zverev, who secured a 6-4, 6-4 upset victory over third seed Tomas Berdych.

A solitary break of serve in each set was enough for Zverev to end his Czech opponent's challenge.

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