Roberto Bautista Agut is back in the winner’s circle at the ASB Classic…
The 29-year-old Spanish professional tennis player beat former champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday to win the ATP Tour tournament for the second time in three years.
Fifth seed Bautista Agut, who won the title in 2016, outlasted second-seed del Potro, the 2009 champion, in a match of remarkable highs and lows.
Bautista Agut swept through the first set in only 31 minutes as del Potro seemed to struggle in warm conditions on a packed center court. But del Potro took advantage of the only break point of the second set to level the match.
The advantage in the third set went one way then the other until Bautista Agut broke del Potro to lead 6-5, then saved a break point to win the match in 2 hours, 7 minutes.
Later, an emotional Bautista Agut dedicated his victory to his family in Spain.
“It feels wonderful,” he said. “It was an unbelievable match today. I’ve been fighting a lot on the court, and I couldn’t believe I was playing my best tennis.
“Today I felt really good on the court, and I played very good tennis throughout the match. Juan Martin is a great champion, he’s very tough to beat, and I played two amazing games in the last two games of the match.”
del Potro said he found it difficult to play in humid conditions in the daytime Saturday after playing his previous matches at night.
“When I had to play in the sun it was very tough for me,” del Potro said. “Roberto started very well. He moved so much better than me from the baseline.
“And then I think my game improved a little bit. I couldn’t play any better, but Roberto did well at the end of the match, and I made some mistakes.”