TennisSection previews the 2022 Kitzbuhel Open as Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Jiri Lehecka in the quarterfinal on Thursday, July 28th, 2022.
Will the number three seed Roberto Bautista Agut ease his way into the last four at the Kitzbuhel Open? There are no guarantees the Spanish veteran will enjoy a smooth sailing against the talented Jiri Lehecka whose stock is rising rapidly this season. Let us take a look at the matchup in detail.
Roberto Bautista Agut had a bye in the first round, but it didn’t take him long to acclimatize to the court conditions at the Kitzbuhel Open. He opened up his campaign in the Austrian city with a very professional display against the home wild card JurijRodionov. The third seed fired six aces and his serve was impregnable throughout the match, facing just one break point which he snuffed away. Victory was a mere formality after bagging the first set 6-1 in just 28 minutes. Can he respond with a similar display against the fast-rising Jiri Lehecka on Thursday?
Jiri Lehecka’s progress into the quarterfinals of the KitzbuhelOpen was not as serene. The 20-year-old Czech picked up his 20th match win on clay across all levels this season after defeating Portugal’s Joao Sousa in three sets. Lehecka won a dramatic first-set tiebreak in which he saved a set point. His level dipped in the second set as Sousa peaked. But momentum was restored in the third set as Sousa felt a little more pressure serving second in the decider.
Roberto Bautista Agut and Jiri Lehecka have not played each other on the ATP Tour. Thursday’s match at the Kitzbuhel Open will be their first official meeting. With just one in his last five matches, Bautista Agut needed a cinficence-boosting win in his last outing. While his last two defeats might have been related to the ill effects of contracting Covid-19 which consequently led to his Wimbledon withdrawal, he was in brilliant form against Rodionov. Lehecka is a steady competitor. He may be young, but can generate decent power off that forehand. However, I am unconvinced he has sufficient power to outhit the immovable object that is Bautista Agut.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Roberto Bautista Agut in 3 Sets.
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