Sports

ATP Auckland: Bautista Agut edges del Potro for his 7th ATP title

ATP Auckland: Bautista Agut edges del Potro for his 7th ATP title

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut beat former champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday to win the ATP Tour's ASB Classic for the second time in three years. Del Potro served better and better as the match progressed and he dropped just 3 points in 5 service games, with another solid hold presumably coming up in game 11.

He romped through the first set in 31 minutes as he broke Del Potro three times and produced numerous forehand winners.

Bautista Agut booked his spot in the Classic final with a 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) win over the journeyman Haase, battling from beginning to end.

"I passed really bad moments on the court and in that moment, I scream because I was very stressed", the world No.21 Bautista Agut said.

"I started the match very well".

There, both players held easily in the first 10 games, hitting some powerful forehand winners like that one that kept Roberto in the match in the 10th game when he served to prolong the final.

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Del Potro said he found it hard to play in humid conditions in the daytime Saturday after playing his previous matches at night.

Earlier, fifth seed Bautista Agut outlasted Dutchman Robin Haase in an epic clash that took nearly three hours before the Spaniard produced an audacious backhand lob that kissed the baseline to clinch the 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) win.

"It's never easy against David because he runs a lot and he's a fighter", del Potro said.

"And then I think my game improved a little bit".

"Unfortunately the match can't have two winners", an exhausted Bautista Agut said after the two hour, 52 minute clash. Juan Martin was there to fight until the final point, creating a break point that could set up the deciding tie break, but he was denied by an ace from Roberto, one of his most important shots of the day.


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