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Day 3 Preview: Pouille, Bautista Agut Try To Close In On Their Second Titles Of The Year

Karen Kachanov (RUS)

A preview of Men's Week Day 3 at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

  • All eight second-round matches are in play on Wednesday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The top two seeds remaining, Lucas Pouille of France and Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, are each looking to maneuver their way through a difficult field, in hopes of claiming a second ATP World Tour singles title of 2018.
  • No. 2 seed Pouille has a stern test in the second round, as he will face the man who defeated him in the Marseille final three days prior: Russian Karen Khachanov, who outlasted Pouille in three grueling sets to claim the second singles title of his career. Pouille had a 7-0 win-loss record in France this month before running into Khachanov in the Marseille championship match, and the 21-year- old Russian, like Pouille, will view the Dubai draw as an opportunity to clinch a second title of the season.
  • 3rd-seeded Bautista Agut, the Auckland champion in January, will have to defeat France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert if he hopes to reach his first quarter-final since his triumph in New Zealand. Bautista Agut has a 2-0 win-loss record against Herbert at Tour level. The Frenchman just barely made it into the second round, having to stave off multiple match points in a final-set tiebreak against Joao Sousa in his opening round.
  • Two matches featuring wild cards round out the day on Centre Court, after the Bautista Agut-Herbert and Pouille-Khachanov matches. First, Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus will square off against No. 7-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic. The Cypriot, who reached the final here in 2016, put his wild card to use with a first-round win over another Serbian, Viktor Troicki. Another wild card, Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, will play Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the final match on Centre Court. Jaziri is one day removed from his stunning opening-round upset of top seed Grigor Dimitrov, which was the Tunisian’s first win over a Top 10 opponent in 11 tries.
  • In a battle between two of last year’s quarter-finalists, 4th-seeded Bosnian Damir Dzumhur faces Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy on Court 1. Of course, Donskoy’s path to the final eight last year contained the biggest win of his career: a massive comeback victory over Roger Federer in the second round. Another of last year’s quarter- finalists, No. 6 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, follows them on Court 1 when he plays Greek wild card Stefanos Tsitsipas, the youngest player in the draw at age 19. Kohlschreiber has had solid success in Dubai recently, reaching the quarter-finals in the last two years, as well as the semi-finals in 2014.
  • Earlier in the day on Court 1, No. 8 seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan takes on Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, and France’s Benoit Paire plays Croatian Borna Coric. Coric upset No. 5 seed Richard Gasquet in the opening round.

Watch Day 2 Highlights

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Tickets are on sale online and from the Box Office, which is open 9am -9pm daily. For ticket sales go to http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets. For further information about the tournament visit www.dubaidutyfreentennischampionships.com.