Bautista Agut ousts 2019 champ Medvedev at US Open tuneup

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev was eliminated by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in a Wednesday quarter-final while Japan’s Naomi Osaka rallied to advance at the ATP and WTA Western & Southern Open.

In the same spectator-less quarantine bubble at New York that will be used when the US Open starts Monday, 12th-ranked Bautista Agut battled back to eliminate last year’s US Open runner-up from Russia 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

“It was a very good comeback,” said Bautista Agut. “I changed my rhythm with the ball. I tried to do some different things with the slice. I had some good volleys.

“It was a fantastic comeback for me. I had to fight a lot to stay there in the second set. It was a really tough match. I’m glad to get through.”

The Spaniard will play for a semi-final berth on Thursday against the winner of a later match between world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

On the women’s side, two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka battled back to defeat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The Japanese fourth seed will play a semi-final Thursday against Belgian 14th seed Elise Mertens, who eliminated American Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-3.

Osaka, the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open champion, reached her second WTA semi-final of the year after Brisbane in January.

After being broken to trail 0-2 in the second set, Osaka reeled off nine straight games to seize command on her way to winning in an hour and 52 minutes.

Osaka is 1-1 in her career rivalry with Mertens, winning their most recent matchup in last year’s Osaka semi-finals.

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