NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut got through a difficult second-round match against Serbian youngster Miomir Kecmanovic with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory at the U.S. Open on Thursday.
The Spaniard squandered 14 break point opportunities but held his nerve in crucial moments to seal victory in just over 2-1/2 hours.
Kecmanovic, making his second consecutive second-round appearance at Flushing Meadows, stepped up the pressure on Bautista Agut’s serve in the second set to force an unlikely break at 5-3 and he went on to level the match.
Bautista Agut looked largely untroubled over the next two sets, however, as he patiently carved out two breaks of serve to book a place in the U.S. Open third round for the first time in three years.
World number 11 Bautista Agut has now won five of his six matches since the tour’s resumption after the COVID-19 shutdown, reaching the semi-finals at the Western & Southern Open last week where he pushed eventual champion Novak Djokovic to a final-set tiebreak.
He will next face the winner of the all-Canadian clash between Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)