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.

Roberto Bautista Agut Claims Winston-Salem Open Title Without Dropping a Set

Roberto Bautista Agut makes history while claiming his first title at the Winston-Salem Open

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Winston-Salem Open, giving him his second ATP World Tour title of the year and the sixth overall.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut, the tournament’s top seed and currently ranked No. 15 in the world, became the first player in the seven-year history of the tournament to not lose a set in any of his six matches. He won a year after losing the final to countryman Pablo Carreno Busta.

“It was a tough final, but I played very good tennis all week,” Bautista Agut said. “I wanted to try to arrive at the final and it was a very good week for me. And it’s been a very good year for me now, too.”

The unseeded Dzumhur was the first player from Bosnia-Herzegovina to reach an ATP World Tour final.

“I started both sets love-three down and came back, but it’s not easy to win after being down love-three to win a set against any player, but especially against Roberto, who played a great week,” Dzumhur said. “He played with a lot of confidence and played big points so good, especially both sets at four-all. He played great points and great passing shots, and I just didn’t have a lot of chances in those games.”

Bautista Agut broke at 30-40, closing out the match when Dzumhur’s forehand sailed long at 30-40.

“It was a tough final, but I played very good tennis all week,” Bautista Agut said. “I wanted to try to arrive at the final and it was a very good week for me. And it’s been a very good year for me now, too.”

Bautista Agut had a chance to win the match on his serve when he led 5-3, but was broken at love.

Bautista Agut broke Dzumhur to win the first set, then won the first three games of the second set before Dzumhur rallied to win the next three games and tie it 3-3.

Bautista Agut held serve in the next game to take a 4-3 lead and broke Dzumhur again on a lob shot that hit the baseline for a 5-3 lead.

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Kei Nishikori to Reach Fourth Round at Wimbledon

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off an upset…

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player, seeded No. 18, beat ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the third round 6-4, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut

This was their fifth match against each other on tour — and the first won by Bautista Agut.

“I couldn’t maintain my level high enough,” Nishikori said. “I think he served well every set. Was really tough time (on) my return game.”

Bautista Agut reached the fourth round at the All England Club for the second time, having reached it in 2015. He reached the third round last year. But he has never reached the quarterfinals at any Grand Slam tournament, losing all eight previous times he got to the round of 16 at majors — the most losses without a win by any man during the Open Era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Bautista Agut’s next opponent is No. 7 seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion who advanced by beating No. 26 seed Steve Johnson of the United States, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-4.