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Zverev vs Bautista-Agut ATP Basel Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Zverev seeks fourth straight win over Bautista-Agut

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 26 Oct 2018
  • Alexander Zverev vs Roberto Bautista-Agut is live from Basel on Friday, 26 October from 5:00pm local time/ 4:00pm BST
  • Zverev leads 3-2 on head-to-head, and has won the last meetings
Alexander Zverev. (Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev continues his quest for a fourth title of the season on Friday, when be takes on Spaniard, Roberto Bautista-Agut in the quarter finals of the Swiss Indoors in Basel.

Zverev picked up his tour-leading 51st match win of the year on Thursday when he defeated Australian teenager, Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-4 in the second round. Zverev was particularly strong behind his serve against world number 174, Popyrin, dropping just eight points behind his deliveries all match. The German served at only 52%, but he won 92% of points on first serve, and 74% on his second, offering no break points to his teenage opponent. By contrast, Zverev forced six break points on Popyrin's serve, breaking once in each set in the 71-minute encounter.

Prior to 2018, Zverev had never won a match in Basel, with his only previous visit in 2014 ending in a first-round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov. He got off the mark in the Swiss city on Wednesday, when he defeated Robin Haase, a man who had caused him problems in the past, 6-4 7-5 in the first round to become the first man to reach 50 wins in 2018. He followed that up with victory over Popyrin, and now stands just one win away from ninth semi-final of the season.

The German had compiled a brilliant 2017, winning five ATP World Tour titles, qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, and ending the year at No. 4 in the world, and after suffering a mild hangover at the start 2018, the 21-year-old has backed up last year's effort superbly.

A bumpy start to the year included early losses at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Indian Wells, but he took off in Miami, where he made the final. The German was excellent on clay, winning a third Masters 1000 title in Madrid, and causing Rafael Nadal all sorts of problems in the Rome final before losing in three sets. He also won the Munich title, reached the semi-finals on Monte Carlo and made his first Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. In all, he made six straight ATP World Tour semi-finals between the Miami Open and the Rome Masters, reaching the finals in all but one of the tournaments, winning two titles.

Zverev was not quite at the races on grass, losing to Ernests Gulbis in the third round at Wimbledon, and after a promising start to the North American hard-court season, when he claimed a third title of the year in Washington, the results dried up a bit, as he made just one quarter final, in Toronto, through the rest of the American swing.

Over in Asia, he fell early in Beijing, losing to Malek Jaziri in the Round of 16, but he got to the semi-finals in Shanghai- his first in five tournaments. Can he take down Bautista-Agut on Friday, and make consecutive semi-finals for the first time since the clay-court season?

Bautista-Agut has been slowed down by injuries in recent months, starting his Basel campaign at No. 26 in the world.

Roberto Bautista Agut. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
The former world number 13 picked up titles in Auckland and Dubai within the opening three months the of the year, but the usually consistent Spaniard lost his way somewhat after Dubai, managing just two quarter finals- in Barcelona and Munich- between then and the end of the clay-court season. 

Bautista was back in an ATP World Tour semi-final on the grass of Halle, but he suffered a nasty fall early in that semi final against Borna Coric, and had to retire with a hip injury. He missed Wimbledon as a result, but returned to the tour in Gstaad, where made his third final of the season before falling to Italian, Matteo Berrettini. Bautista-Agut missed most of the hard court season due to an abdominal problem, but came back in time for the US Open, where the rusty Spaniard fell to the unheralded American, Jason Kubler in straight sets.

The 30-year-od continued to battle, making the semi-finals in St. Petersburg, but he went 2-2 in Asia, losing to Zverev in the first round in Beijing, and then to Roger Federer, in three sets, in the third round in Shanghai.

Bautista-Agut will compete in the Basel quarter finals for the second straight year, followimg victories over Joao Sousa and Dusan Lajovic. He defeated Zverev in their first two meetings- Hamburg 2013 and Rotterdam 2015, but Zverev has responded with three wins in a row, beating the Spaniard in Munich and Halle in 2017, and then Beijing just a few weeks ago.

Bautista-Agut at his best is a tenacious defender who has added extra layers of aggression to his game in recent years, and he will have to find that best form if he is to take down Zverev on Friday. Zverev hasn't exactly been in peak form in recent weeks,  but with the firepower that he has got, he will have to play very poorly to lose to Bautista-Agut on Friday.

Alexander Zverev vs Roberto Bautista-Agut is live from Basel on Friday, 26 October from 5:00pm local time/ 4:00pm BST

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Zverev vs Bautista-Agut ATP Basel Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Zverev seeks fourth straight win over Bautista-Agut

Alexander Zverev and Roberto Bautista-Agut meet in the quarter finals of the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Friday. Will Zverev be too powerful for the Spaniard? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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