Bautista Agut overcomes Berdych to lift Doha trophy

07 January, 2019, 06:55 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Roberto Bautista-Agut

The world number 24 came from a set down to win 3-6 7-6 (8) 6-4 to claim only his second victory over Djokovic and a fourth triumph over a top-five opponent.

It was only the second time the 30-year-old has beaten Djokovic, across nine matches, and he was clearly delighted with the victory.

Djokovic added: "I knew his qualities and especially in the slower conditions, so I did expect that it was going to be a match with a lot of rallies and very physical and that has proven to be the case". That's why Novak is No. 1 in the world. I'm happy with the way I'm playing. "That's it", a clearly frustrated Djokovic said in his post-match press conference.

The Serb won his last Australian Open in 2016, beating Britain's Andy Murray in straight sets.

Later on Thursday, Djokovic spent another 65 minutes on court alongside his brother Marko in a doubles match that they lost in a deciding tie-break to David Goffin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.


Defeat saw Djokovic's 13-game winning run in Qatar come to an end, leaving the player frustrated and smashing his a racket in the second set. "I did everything well today".

The Serb came from a set down, just like in his previous match, to beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match lasting nearly two hours. He hasn't dropped a set this week.

The Spaniard made the decisive break of serve in the third game of the final set to take a lead he never lost.

Unlike many Spanish players who tend to favour clay, Bautista Agut is more suited to hard courts like Doha because he is a counter attacking player who plays lower, flatter shots, and does not rely so much on bounce or spin.

A wide forehand midway through the seventh game gave Djokovic an opening and he duly broke through to love as Bautista Agut found the net with a weak backhand.

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