A second straight Adelaide International 2 title wasn’t to be for Thanasi Kokkinakis, with Roberto Bautista Agut proving too tough in a three-set semifinal at The Drive.
The Spaniard required two hours and 35 minutes to record his 7-6(4) 6-3 3-6 win.
Defending break points was key for the 33-year-old, who faced 12 against the Australian but surrendered just one – in the eight game of the 40-minute second set, which Kokkinakis confidently served out in the following game.
But with a 22nd ATP singles final – and first in Australia – in sight for the veteran Spaniard, Bautista Agut responded superbly.
Taking a 3-1 serve in the second set, he was dogged under pressure as he saved five break points in the pivotal fifth game
Bautista Agut withstood 20 aces from the determined Kokkinakis, sounding an ominous warning as he faces Soonwoo Kwon for the chance to lift the 12th singles trophy of his career.
“He’s a very good player, serving unreal and very good on this court,” said a relieved Bautista Agut of the dangerous Kokkinakis, who secured wins over No.1 seed Andrey Rublev and world No.28 Miomir Kecmanovic in Adelaide this week.
“He has great potential and it’s very tough to beat Thanasi on this court today.”
AUSSIES IN ACTION – Adelaide
Men’s singles, semifinals
 Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP d [WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3
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