It’s a hard-fought first ATP title for Roberto Bautista Agut…
The 26-year-old Spanish tennis player mounted an impressive rally to claim his maiden World Tour crown on Saturday, beating Benjamin Becker in the Topshelf Open final.
Bautista Agut captured his first title with a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory, overcoming 13 aces and a 32-minute first set in favor of his German counterpart.
One of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars in 2014, the Spaniard has soared from World No. 73 in the ATP rankings at the beginning of the year to a new career-high of No. 23 with his title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Bautista Agut, the tournament’s third-seed becomes the second first-time champion this year after Federico Delbonis won in Sao Paulo. He was competing in just his second final, having previously fallen in the 2013 Aircel Chennai Open title match to Janko Tipsarevic.
Becker raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set behind a pair of early breaks. Bautista Agut was unable to counter Becker’s pace and guile in the baseline rallies as the German veteran needed just 32 minutes to take the opener.
Bautista Agut’s game would gain traction as the match progressed, however, and he would snatch the second set in a tiebreaker and surge to an early lead in the third set behind a break in the fifth game. As Becker pressed for a break back, Bautista Agut held steady, and he would hold on for the title in exactly two hours.
He’s the fifth different Spanish winner this year, withRafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopezand Fernando Verdasco also bringing home trophies to the Iberian nation. He’s also the second different Spaniard to triumph in Den Bosch after Ferrer prevailed in 2008 and 2012.
“It took me a while to recover from a very long match yesterday and I was getting better and better after the first set,” said Bautista Agut, who earns $77,350 and 250 ATP rankings points with the win.
“I was more focused and started to feel better physically. I was trying to not think too much and play my game point by point. It was the same nervousness as every match. I played calm and aggressive in the last game. I had to celebrate hard (after match point) and enjoy the moment.”