Roberto Bautista Agut captures his first Doha title
Always in top-form week-1, Roberto Bautista Agut's command performance in Doha
This is a week Roberto Bautista Agut will always remember. Ranked World #24 to start the season, he came into the Qatar ExxonMobil Open as the 7-seed.
In the Quarterfinals, he eliminated Stan Wawrinka – who’s back in Grand Slam shape after a dodgy 2018 spent acclimating to a surgically enhanced knee.
In the Semifinals – down a set and a break – Roberto came-back to outplay and outlast World #1 Novak Djokovic.
And in the Championship match, he scored a deciding-set victory over 2-time Doha Finalist Tomas Berdych.
The Spaniard was an absolute machine all week.
During the Djokovic Semifinal, Roberto essentially lost set-1 before the first changeover. But he endured, extended rallies and refused to cave.
In set-2, Novak broke to go up 4-3, but Bautista Agut found another gear and responded with a break of his own. Knowing he was up against a relentless opponent with ridiculous conditioning, Djokovic shattered his racquet on the baseline and spent a few minutes cleaning up the pieces with a towel.
Roberto then forced a decider with an 8-6 tiebreak victory – broke the World #1 in game-1 of set-3 – and held serve the rest of the way. Down the stretch, Bautista Agut was simply the fitter opponent, both physically and mentally – something not often heard when comparing others to Djokovic.
Of his two career victories over a top-ranked Novak Djokovic (Bautista Agut also defeated Djokovic -01- in the Semifinals of the 2016 Shanghai Masters 64 64), this Doha Semifinal was his crowning achievement.
How good is Roberto Bautista Agut during the first month of the season? This was his 4th career title in January and 5th career January Final. Last year, the 2-time Auckland champ defeated Juan Martin Del Potro to capture the title. In 2017, he won Chennai, four years after reaching his first career ATP Tour Final there. Bautista Agut now owns 9-titles and is a 16-time Tour-level Finalist.
His 9th title is one he’ll never forget.
Center Court match recaps from the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2019
The Round of 16
2019 Roberto Bautista Agut
2018 Gael Monfils
2017 Novak Djokovic (2)
2016 Novak Djokovic
2015 David Ferrer
2014 Rafael Nadal
2013 Richard Gasquet
2012 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2011 Roger Federer (3)
2010 Nikolay Davydenko
2009 Andy Murray (2)
2008 Andy Murray
2007 Ivan Ljubičić
2006 Roger Federer (2)
2005 Roger Federer
2004 Nicolas Escudé
2003 Stefan Koubek
2002 Younes El Aynaoui
2001 Marcelo Ríos
2000 Fabrice Santoro
1999 Rainer Schüttler
1998 Petr Korda (2)
1997 Jim Courier
1996 Petr Korda
1995 Stefan Edberg (2)
1994 Stefan Edberg
1993 Boris Becker
2019 David Goffin / Pierre-Hugues Herbert
2018 Oliver Marach / Mate Pavić
2017 Jérémy Chardy / Fabrice Martin
2016 Feliciano López / Marc López (3)
2015 Juan Mónaco / Rafael Nadal (4)
2014 Tomáš Berdych / Jan Hájek
2013 Christopher Kas / Philipp Kohlschreiber (2)
2012 Filip Polášek / Lukáš Rosol
2011 Marc López (2) / Rafael Nadal (3)
2010 Guillermo García-López / Albert Montañés
2009 Marc López / Rafael Nadal (2)
2008 Philipp Kohlschreiber / David Škoch
2007 Nenad Zimonjić / Mikhail Youzhny
2006 Jonas Björkman / Max Mirnyi (2)
2005 Albert Costa / Rafael Nadal
2004 Martin Damm (2) / Cyril Suk (2)
2003 Martin Damm / Cyril Suk
2002 Donald Johnson / Jared Palmer (2)
2001 Mark Knowles (3) / Daniel Nestor (2)
2000 Mark Knowles (2) / Max Mirnyi
1999 Alex O’Brien / Jared Palmer
1998 Mahesh Bhupathi / Leander Paes
1997 Jacco Eltingh / Paul Haarhuis
1996 Mark Knowles / Daniel Nestor
1995 Stefan Edberg / Magnus Larsson
1994 Olivier Delaître / Stéphane Simian
1993 Boris Becker / Patrik Kühnen