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By Tennis Now | Friday, September 22, 2017

Fabio Fognini

Jan-Lennard Struff upset second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; Fabio Fognini set up a St. Petersburg semifinal vs. Roberto Bautista Agut.

Photo credit: St. Petersburg Open

Winless in three prior meetings with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Jan-Lennard Struff was in no mood to revisit past fails.

The 54th-ranked German rallied past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, to power into the St. Petersburg Open semifinals.

More: Federer's Oh No Return

It is Struff’s second semifinal in a month following his final four appearance in Winston-Salem and his first win over Tsonga.


Jan Lennard Struff vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ✅ #itstennistime #formulatx #spbopen #atp #tennis

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“I played him three times already and lost to him three times so it means a lot to me to beat him today,” Struff said.

Struff converted four of eight break-point chances. Though he served just 40 percent in the final set, the 6’5” German won 11 of 12 points played on his first serve in the decider.

The eighth-seeded Struff will play Damir Dzumhur for a spot in the final. Dzumhur fought past British qualifier Liam Broady 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Down 0-2 in the decider, Dzumhur dug in winning six of the final eight games in a one hour and 52 minute triumph.

This will be the first meeting between the 55th-ranked Dzumhur and Struff, who is one spot ahead in the rankings.

Top-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut made quick work of Viktor Troicki in a 6-1, 6-2 dismissal that spanned just 72 minutes.

It is Bautista Agut’s third straight St. Petersburg semifinal as he plays for his third title of the season following title triumphs on hard courts in Chennai and Winston-Salem.

“The score was 6-1, 6-2, but the match was a great fight,” Bautista Agut said. “Troicki is very tough to beat. He’s always fighting until the last point. I played a very good match.”

Next up for Bautista Agut is a semifinal with 2012 finalist Fabio Fognini.

The third-seeded Italian dissected Lithuanian lucky loser Ricardas Berankis, 6-3, 6-0.

Shredding Berankis’ serve, Fognini won 11 of 19 points played on the Lithuanian’s first serve. Berankis served just 39 percent compared to Fognini’s 61 percent.

Fognini is contesting his fourth semifinal of the season, including his third semi in his last five tournaments.

The theatrical Italian was bounced out of the US Open and fined $24,000 a few days after his first-round singles meltdown to 144th-ranked compatriot Stefano Travaglia. In his first tournament since that raging meltdown, he’s bounced back calmly.

Fognini has won five of seven meetings with the 13th-ranked Spaniard, including two of three hard-court encounters. This will be their first hard-court clash since the 2014 Miami when Fognini prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.


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