Botello and Ruiz overcome their nemesis to reach the semis

They stun the number one seeds in three sets

Botello and Ruiz overcome their nemesis to reach the semis

The afternoon session of the Bilbao Open 2018 opened up with the world number ones, Sanyo Gutiérrez and Maxi Sánchezagainst Uri Botello and Javi Ruiz.

The Spaniards were looking for their first win of the season against a pairing that had already defeated them three times in 2018. But the favourites were the favourites for a reason and broke in the first game. Ruiz and Botello continued with their hard-working approach and found their reward with a break back in the fourth game. Sanyo Gutierrez's magic shone in the seventh game to break back and to seal the set 6-4.

In the second set, Ruiz and Botello held onto their serve more comfortably and stayed in the match. The first crack appeared in the ninth game, with Sanyo and Maxi breaking to go up 5-4. But they didn't serve it out; Botello and Ruiz regained their composure and forced a tiebreak. It was do or die for Botello/Ruiz and they squandered three set points but ended up winning it and forcing a third set (7-6).

The number ones didn't expect this and were clearly stunned at the start of the third set. Ruiz and Botello saw an invitation and accepted it, and were 4-1 before Sanchez and Gutierrez knew it. With almost two hours on the clock, one of the biggest upsets of the season was consumed. Botello and Ruiz won 6-2 and reached their third semifinals of the year.

 

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