Roberto Bautista Agut Outlasts Defending Champion Daniil Medvedev to reach Semifinals at the Western & Southern Open

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off a big upset…

The 32-year-old Spanish professional tennis player knocked out defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Medvedev failed to close it out in the second set, and Bautista Agut rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory that eliminated yet another top player from the tuneup tournament for the US Open. Djokovic is the only player left in the tournament with an ATP Masters 1000 title to his credit.

Medvedev led 4-3 in the second before letting it slip away. He converted only five of 20 break points in the match and swatted his racket against the court in frustration at the end.

“Even in the third set I had my chances and didn’t take them,” Medvedev said.

Bautista Agut reached his third ATP Masters semifinal and his first since 2016. He needed a set to adjust to the breezy, cooler conditions on court.

“It’s never easy to come back and play good at first,” he said. “I have to be patient, to try to enjoy every single match I play here after six months without competing. Just pleased and happy to be in the semifinals.”

Medvedev hoisted the champion’s Rookwood Pottery cup last year in Mason, Ohio, where the tournament is held annually. This year’s event was moved to the US Open site in Flushing Meadows because of coronavirus pandemic precautions, creating a two-tournament event without spectators.

He’ll next face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Roberto Bautista Agut to Headline the Three-Event Series ‘UTR Pro Series-Spain’

Roberto Bautista Agut is heading back to the court…

The 32-year-old Spanish professional tennis player will headline the UTR Pro Series-Spain, a three-event series that’ll be played on successive weekends beginning July 10 in Barcelona.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Conspicuous in his absence: ATP No. 2 ranked Rafael Nadal, who hasn’t taken part in any of the growing number of “re-opening” events tennis entrepreneurs and officials have staged during the suspension of ATP and WTA tennis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Spanish events will feature Bautista Agut, ranked No. 12 in the world, No. 25 Pablo Carreno Busta, and Albert Ramos-Viñolas, who is No. 41. Two of the other committed players are well-known veterans Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, both of whom are still ranked in the Top 100.

The UTR Pro Series tournament format is modeled on the wildly popular exhibition event created by Roger Federer, the Laver Cup (this year’s event, scheduled for Boston in late September, has been canceled due to a conflict with the postponed French Open). 

The eight participants in the UTR showdown will be divided into two teams. The matches will be best-three sets, but with a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set.

UTR, or Universal Tennis Rating, is an organization built on the foundation of a rating system that differs substantially from the formal ATP ranking system. It rates all players, including top pros, solely on the basis of their results against each other in recent matches recognized by UTR. It’s already widely used in junior play and by college recruiters, and has sponsored a number of exhibitions in recent months.

Federer is out of action for the rest of the year due to an aggravated knee injury. Novak Djokovic made his first appearance as a player during the coronavirus pandemic in late June, but the four-tournament Adria Tour he conceived turned into a debacle due to an outbreak of coronavirus. Djokovic was among those who tested positive for Covid-19.

Nadal has kept his distance from the exhibition circuit, and has also expressed disappointment at the prospect of playing without fans in attendance at the upcoming US Open. He hasn’t yet decided if he’ll defend his title in New York.

Roberto Bautista Agut Helps Lead Spain into ATP Cup Quarterfinals

Roberto Bautista Agut’s (ATP) cup runneth over…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Japan’s Go Soeda 6-2, 6-4 to help Spain advance to the quarterfinals of the ATP Cup on Wednesday at Perth Arena.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Spain, which won the Davis Cup in Madrid last year with a victory over Canada, is still in the hunt for its second international team victory in seven weeks.

Japan needed to beat Spain 3-0 in order for the Rafael Nadal-led team not to advance to the Final Eight, beginning Thursday in Sydney. Nadal later had a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over 72nd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka.

“I always enjoy sharing important moments with friends, and we had a lot of success during our entire careers playing for our country in Davis Cup,” Nadal said. “So for us it’s a good start, to be able to be qualified for Sydney already. The conditions will be different, and a three-hour time [difference]. There’s a lot of things we need to adjust to, and the period of time to make it happen is very short.”

The quarterfinal lineup has Australia playing Britain and Argentina taking on Russia on Thursday. On Friday, Serbia plays Canada and Belgium takes on Spain, all at Ken Rosewall Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.

The semifinals are set for Saturday and the final on Sunday.

Rafael Nadal Leads Spain to Davis Cup Title Over Canada

Rafael Nadalhas helped Spain win big…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, ranked No. 1 in the world, risked injury by playing eight matches — five singles, three doubles — in six days at the Davis Cup Finals, the new World Cup of tennis.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal won all of them, leading Spain to its sixth Davis Cup title after a 2-0 win over first-time finalist Canada on Sunday.

But in Nadal’s view, the only hero for Spain was grieving teammate Roberto Bautista Agut. He sent Spain on its way to victory by winning the first singles match on Sunday, three days after the death of his father.

“I’ve won the eight matches but the person who was vital in this Davis Cup was Roberto,” Nadal said. “For me, what he did was something almost inhuman. I don’t know how to explain it. It will be an example for the rest of my life. He had to leave, then his dad died, then he came back and practiced with us yesterday, and today he was ready again to play at a very high level. It was something incredible.”

Spain Davis Cup

Before Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 (7) to clinch the title — Spain’s first since also winning at home in 2011 — Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime7-6 (3), 6-3.

Bautista Agut pointed his finger to the sky after winning the final point in his match, and was in tears while speaking briefly to the crowd, which chanted his name. And he was the Spanish player lifting the cup in the title celebrations.

Bautista Agut’s father died on Thursday — a day after his son had defeated Nikola Mektic of Croatia — with his health deteriorating quickly after an illness that stemmed from a 2016 accident.

Bautista Agut, No. 9 in the world, played as teammates Pablo Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers nursed injuries entering the final.

As for Nadal, he considered himself lucky to be able to play all matches.

“It’s true that I held up, but we know that playing so many matches in this [hard-court] surface is risky for me, something can happen at any time,” Nadal said. “That’s how it’s been in the past, but luckily I held up.”

Spain’s Granollers and Feliciano Lopezhad been scheduled to face Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisilin the now-canceled doubles match, although Nadal was likely to play if the title had been at stake. Nadal played in the decisive doubles on Friday and Saturday.

Voted the tournament’s best player, Nadal sealed the title with his 29th straight Davis Cup singles win, igniting the home crowd’s celebrations.

Tournament organizer and Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique, his wife Shakira — who performed in the closing ceremony — and Spanish King Felipe VI were among those celebrating Spain’s triumph.

Spain’s other Davis Cup titles were in 2000, ’04, ’08, ’09 and ’11.

The new Davis Cup Finals is the result of a 25-year partnership between the International Tennis Federation and the Kosmos group co-founded by Pique.

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Guido Pella at Wimbledon to Earn a Spot in His First Grand Slam Semifinal

It’s a special first for Roberto Bautista Agut… 

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player recovered from a third-set lapse at Wimbledon on Wednesday to book a place in his first Grand Slam championship semifinal.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut, the No. 23 seed, lost his first set, but won 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Guido Pella, the No. 26 seed, in three hours and eight minutes on No. 1 Courtat the All England Club.

“I think I played a great tournament,” said Bautista Agut. “I was playing very good in the first week of the tournament. And today, it was a very difficult match. Guido Pella is a good opponent, has won really good matches this week [and] he was really tough to beat… I’m very happy.”

Bautista Agut is the sixth Spanish man to reach the semifinals at The Championships, following in the footsteps of Manuel Alonso-Areyzaga (1921), Manuel Santana (1963, 1966), Andres Gimeno (1970), Manuel Orantes (1972) and Rafael Nadal (2006-08, 2010-11, 2018).

Bautista Agut will now prepare to meet ATPWorld No. 1 and four-time champion Novak Djokovic on Friday for a place in the Wimbledon final. 

By improving to a 28-11 match record in 2019 with a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals, Bautista Agut moves up to seventh position in the ATP Race To London for one of eight spots at the prestigious ATP Finals, to be held at The O2in London from 10-17 November. 

Guido Pella Outlasts Milos Raonic at Wimbledon to Reach First Grand Slam Quarterfinals

Guido Pella’s remarkable run at the All England Clubcontinues…

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player outlasted former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in five strenuous sets. 

Guido Pella

Pella, competing in his first-ever fourth round match at a Grand Slam, bounced back from two-sets down to eliminate the Canadian 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 8-6.

Pella will meet Roberto Bautista-Agutin the quarterfinals. It will be his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance. 

In the third round, the Argentine eliminated the reigning finalist, Kevin Anderson, in straight sets. Last year, he defeated the former finalist, Marin Cilic in the second round. 

Former World No. 3, Raonic had a remarkable beginning in the first set. He didn’t drop a single point on his first serves and he broke and consolidated for a 4-1 lead in the opening set. A similar form of tennis continued in the second set and Raonic moved one set closer to a place in the quarterfinal. 

However, the clay-courter, Pella produced some magnificent grass court tennis and kept his quarterfinal hopes alive. 

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Novak Djokovic to Reach Miami Open Quarterfinals

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off a major upset…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player outlasted World No. 1 Novak Djokovic1-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut

“I played more aggressive. I tried to miss fewer balls, to be really concentrated on the beginning of the point with my serve, with my return. At the end, it worked well,” Bautista Agut said.

Djokovic held for 5-5 in the second set following a rain delay that lasted about 40 minutes and earned a break point in the next game, which if converted would’ve allowed him to serve for a straight-sets victory. But Bautista Aguthit a short slice that Djokovic missed into the net with his forehand. 

From there, Bautista Agut raised his level and aggression to triumph after two hours and 29 minutes.

“He’s a solid player. Congratulations to him definitely for a great comeback,” Djokovic said. “But this kind of match I should not have lost. So many opportunities. Just way too many wasted opportunities. This is what happens when you don’t capitalise on time.”

It’s Bautista Agut’s second three-sets victory against Djokovic this season, having also defeated Djokovic in Doha to start the year en route to lifting the trophy. 

“It helped me at the end of the match, no? I had confidence to play at a really high level at the end of the match, and I could close the match well with my serve,” Bautista Agut said.

He’ll next face defending champion John Isner, whom he hasn’t played since 2016, in the quarterfinals

Isner leads the ATP Head2Head series 2-1.

Roberto Bautista Agut Takes the Title at the Dubai Championships

Roberto Bautista Agut is back to his winning ways…

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player earned his second ATP title of the year after beating Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 6-4 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.

Roberto Bautista Agut

The third-seeded Bautista Agut denied the second-seeded Pouille his own second title this year and a chance to break into the top-10 rankings for the first time.

Pouille, the winner in Montpellier and runner-up last week in Marseille, looked out of steam in the final. Also, his last three matches were all three-setters.

Bautista Agut came to Dubai on a three-match losing streak after winning in Auckland in January. He was stoic in the final, converting three of his nine break chances, and dropping serve only once.

Of his eight career titles, “It is my best win,” he said.

He broke in the fourth game for the first set.

In the second, Pouille led 3-1 but lapsed back into errors and making less than half of his first serves. Bautista Agut broke straight back, and again in the ninth game and served out.

“I didn’t give him all the court, all the control of the game,” Bautista Agut said. “I was mentally strong. I could come back into the match playing very good tennis (in the second set).”

Roberto Bautista Agut Beats Juan Martin del Potro to Claim Title at ASB Classic

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.

Roberto Bautista Agut

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.”

David Ferrer Advances to the Semifinals at the ASB Classic

David Ferrer is two wins away from a handful of titles in Auckland…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player, a four-time champion at the ATP Tour‘s ASB Classic, has advanced to the semifinals at the tournament for the eighth time after defeating South Korea’s Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

David Ferrer

Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be another former champion, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

del Potro looked in top form ahead of the Australian Open with his second straight-sets victory, having beaten Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. In two matches in Auckland, 2009 champion del Potro has yet to concede a break point.

“Of course I’m happy to get through. He’s one of the toughest guys on tour,” del Potro said. “Today’s match was so close. He hits the ball so hard and we play long rallies, big points and I think I took all my chances to win.”

Another former champion, fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the other semifinal. Bautista Agut defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday while Haase beat Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.