Bautista Agut takes down Del Potro in Auckland, Medvedev triumphs in Sydney

After a battle between one-time ASB Classic champions, Roberto Bautista Agut lifted the Auckland trophy for a second time by beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday afternoon. Having previously dropped serve only once throughout the course of the tournament, Del Potro was broken four times before succumbing in two hours and seven minutes.

“It’s been a fantastic week for me,” said Bautista Agut, who survived Robin Haase 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in the semifinals. “I gave everything I have on the court this week. It was an unbelievable match today; [I was] fighting a lot on the court. I played two amazing games at the [end] of the match.”

“I think my game improved a little bit,” Del Potro assessed, referring to how he recovered from losing the opening set 6-1. “I could play even better, but Roberto did well at the end of the match. Roberto is a great champion, so congratulations to him…. 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.”

Bautista Agut-Del Potro highlights:

At the Sydney International, meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev prevailed in a surprising NextGen showdown between a qualifier and a special exemption for his first career ATP title. Playing in his second final (Chennai, 2016), Medvedev–the qualifier–outlasted Alex de Minaur 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Only 18 years old, de Minaur earned his spot in the Sydney field by making a run to last week’s Brisbane semifinals. The Australian treated the home fans to even more dramatics this week, but came up just short in his first ATP final. de Minaur trailed 4-0 in the final set before storming back for 5-5, only to get broken at love in the 11th game.

“It’s very tough, of course,” Medvedev said of playing against an Aussie in front of an Aussie crowd. “But the only thing, I think [the crowd] works for everyone. If the crowd goes really crazy, sometimes it can turn you on, also. Even if it’s against you, you don’t feel it that it’s against them. I’m sure he wouldn’t make the comeback in the third set without the crowd. It was tough, but I’m really happy to manage this.”

“Just keep digging, leave it all out there, find a way to just make it competitive,” de Minaur said when asked how he mounted his third-set charge. “I didn’t want to just not leave it all out there, especially for everyone who stayed out there. I wanted to just compete until the last point, and I thought that’s what I did. I left it all out there on court.”

Medvedev-De Minaur highlights:

All four players now move on to the Australian Open, where de Minaur has an especially intriguing first-rounder on his hands against Tomas Berdych. An all-Spanish affair will pit Bautista Agut against Verdasco. Del Potro is in a quarter of the draw with Roger Federer and David Goffin.

3 Comments on Bautista Agut takes down Del Potro in Auckland, Medvedev triumphs in Sydney

  1. Well done Medvedev! Fighting against an inspired 18yo plus the home crowd, I thought he’s about to snatch defeat from victory but fortunately he found his range in the last two games, calmed down and delivered. I like the guy, he plays a unique brand of tennis, not a hard hitter but an all court player.

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