Roberto Bautista Agut registered the first big shocker of 2019, stunning world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 today in the semifinals of Doha.
Djokovic had been teetering in his last two matches, dropping the first set to both Marton Fucsovics and Nikolaz Basilishvili before gaining form. But today, Djokovic was rolling, up a set and a break before it fell apart for the 2-time tournament champion.
“I want to congratulate him,” Djokovic said. “Especially in the third set he played well. I thought he was hitting the ball very clean and not making a lot of errors.
“I lost the match. That’s it. He managed to turn things around, obviously at the end of the second set. I thought I was pretty much in control of the match,” Djokovic said. “He played a good game. I missed some easy balls and that’s what you get as a result of losing the focus in the most important moments. And it happens, it happens.”
Djokovic has failed to win his last three tournaments, falling in the finals of Paris and the London finals.
For Bautista Agut, it was his second win over Djokovic and first over a player ranked No. 1.
“I will remember this match all my life. It was an unbelievable atmosphere,” Bautista Agut said. “I work every day to play this tennis. I know it’s difficult to play at this level. That’s why Novak is No. 1 in the world. But I cannot be more happy than I am now.
“I wanted to give everything I had in the match and fight until the last point,” Bautista Agut added. “Finally I could turn the second set. Novak was up and it was really tough. He was very solid and I had to play very good tennis. I had to play a lot of lines and serve very well. I did everything well today.”
In the final, Bautista Agut will battle Tomas Berdych who eased past Marco Cecchinato 7-6(6), 6-3.
Berdych, who has won four of six against Agut, is playing his first event in over six months, but he wants more.
“I’m not satisfied yet, because there is still one more to go,” Berdych said. “I did some very important decisions in the past six months, and so far all of them seems they were right. It is very early to judge. I still have to be very patient, even though the results right now are clicking and it’s all going well. But I really just need to stay very focused and hope to go all the way, because the season and everything will be extremely long.”
In Pune, top seed Kevin Anderson will collide with 39-year-old fellow giant Ivo Karlovic in the tallest final ever in ATP history.
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