Roberto Bautista Agut is not your typical Spaniard. He likes hardcourts, and he likes New Zealand. A lot.
On Saturday the Spaniard beat former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland for his second career title in New Zealand.
“I gave everything I have on the court this week,” said the 29-year-old Bautista Agut, who won his first Auckland title two years ago. “It was an unbelievable match today. I’ve been fighting a lot on the court…I played two amazing games at the [end] of the match.”
The fit Spaniard was coming off a three-set semifinal win over Robin Haase. He now has a 13-2 win-loss record in Auckland.
In the third set Bautusta Agut broke Del Potro for a 6-5 lead, hammering the Argentine’s backhand, then fought off a break point to serve it out.
Auckland is the Spaniard’s first title of 2018 and the seventh of his career. He has now won his last three titles, including 2017 at Chennai and Winston-Salem. Against Del Potro he converted on four of five break opportunities, and during the tournament led all players converting 19 of 33 opportunities.
“I knew it was going to be important, the beginning of the match,” said Bautista Agut, who broke his opponent three times in the first set. “I think I played very aggressive…I tried to have Juan Martin moving around the court.”
Del Potro fell to 20-10 in career finals, posting a 1-1 record in finals in 2017.
“It’s a good start of the year for me. I didn’t expect to reach a final in my first tournament of the year but I played well,” Del Potro said.
Bautista Agut improved to 7-6 career in finals after going 2-0 last year.
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