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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Roberto Bautista Agut Flips The Script Against Daniil Medvedev In Mallorca | ATP Tour

Just last week, Daniil Medvedev cruised past Roberto Bautista Agut on grass in straight sets at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. On Thursday, the Spaniard flipped the script.

Bautista Agut eased past the World No. 1 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Mallorca Championships. It was the fourth time the veteran has defeated the No. 1 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (4-8), with his three previous victories coming against Novak Djokovic.

“I had to play very good to beat Daniil. He’s the No. 1, the last champion here in Mallorca. He just beat me a few days ago. I played a really compete match,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I was more convinced with my game today, hitting strong, very solid. I think I did a really good match.”

It was not the first time the 34-year-old has troubled Medvedev. In fact, Bautista Agut won their three previous meetings outside of Halle with the loss of just one set.

Medvedev consistently frustrates opponents with his solid play, flat strokes and big first serve that puts them under pressure throughout the match. But it was the top seed who was visibly frustrated Thursday, making uncharacteristic errors as he tried to crack the Bautista Agut code. 

Normally, Medvedev is comfortable staying in extended rallies with anyone on Tour. But against Bautista Agut, he was trying to change the rhythm with drop shots and other plays, while the Spaniard remained in his comfort zone. The fifth seed faced just one break point — which he saved — in his 71-minute triumph.

“You need to be very confident that you can make it. Last week I was a bit far,” Bautista Agut said. “Today, I was with a lot of confidence. I knew that if I would play a good match, I would get my chances, and I got it.”

This year’s Doha champion will next play Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier after the World No. 303 qualifier defeated Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2 to become the lowest-ranked semi-finalist since then-World No. 335 Juan Manuel Cerundolo triumphed in Cordoba in 2021.

Bautista Agut, who is seeking his second title of the season this week, won his first ATP Tour trophy in 2014 on the grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2019.

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