Bautista Agut fights past Pella to set up Djokovic semi-final
Roberto Bautista Agut powered through to a first grand slam semi-final by overcoming Guido Pella in four sets at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard extended his unbeaten record against Pella to 3-0 courtesy of a 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph to earn the dubious honour of a last-four meeting with world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Bautista Agut began this year in fine style, beating Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych in succession to land the Doha title, before appearing to end Andy Murray's singles career with a thrilling victory over the former world number one at the Australian Open.
Murray strongly hinted that might have been his final match because of injury, so Bautista Agut might have raised an eyebrow at the sight of the Scot playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Serena Williams.
How Murray, on the comeback trail after hip surgery, would have relished being out there on singles duty instead on Wednesday, and he would have seen much to admire on No. 1 Court.
Bautista Agut had won through to his first Wimbledon quarter-final without dropping a set, a record that not even Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal could match.
The intensity of the 31-year-old was evident as he edged two tight opening sets, with Pella perhaps feeling the pace after two five-set matches in his run, including a marathon fourth-round win over Milos Raonic.
The 29-year-old left-hander from Argentina caused a light stir at the All England Club when he swept through the third set, becoming the first man at the championships to poke through Bautista Agut's armoury.
Yet Pella could not get back on level terms, though, and the writing was on the wall by the time an unforced backhand error gave up the first break in set four, which Bautista Agut consolidated to lead 4-1.
Pella fought off two break points in a valiant show of resolve, but his first effort in a slam quarter was ultimately a losing one.
Roberto Bautista Agut  bt Guido Pella  7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3
Bautista Agut - 42/35
Pella - 46/51
Bautista Agut - 4/1
Pella - 14/5
BREAK POINTS WON
Bautista Agut - 4/16
Pella - 2/13
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Bautista Agut - 66
Pella - 65
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Bautista Agut - 71/58
Pella - 69/45
Bautista Agut - 144
Pella - 129