Bautista Agut Turns Around Drought for ATP Dubai Title
by Staff | March 3rd, 2018, 10:33 pm
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No. 3-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut stopped a three-match losing streak to win the ATP Dubai title on Saturday, in the final defeating hot-handed No. 2 seed Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-4 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
“I played very good, very aggressively,” Bautista Agut said after claiming his second title of 2018. “I didn’t give him all the court, all the control of the game. I played very good tennis tonight.”

Bautista Agut won his eighth career title and improved to 8-6 in career finals.

The Spaniard will climb to No. 16, while Pouille’s loss kept him from the Top 10 for the first time.

“That means a lot, to win this trophy,” said the 29-year-old Bautista Agut. “I think the past winners are the best tennis players in the era. That makes me so happy.”

Bautista Agut improved to 3-1 against Pouille.

The Frenchman double-faulted in the first set to give Bautista Agut the lead and eventually the set. In the second set Pouille broke for a 3-1 lead, but could not hold off the Spaniard who broke twice then closed out the match.

“He took the break,” Bautista Agut said. “But I was mentally strong. I come back playing very good tennis.”

Pouille won the Open Sud de France in February and reached the final at last week’s Open 13 Provence.

“I think he played some great tennis tonight,” the Frenchman said. “Even if I think I had some opportunities, especially in the second set where I got the break, 3-1 up, I couldn’t conserve it. I think he was very solid, played some great tennis when he had to.”

Pouille fell to 1-2 in 2018 finals and 5-4 career.

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