Roberto Bautista Agut got his twentieth victory of the season on Monday, after a successful debut at the Mallorca Championships, beating Japanese Taro Daniel 6-4, 7-6(4). The Spaniard got his third win of the year on grass after winning an hour and 50-minute match that was close to being longer.
Despite not losing more than two points per service game in the second set, Bautista lost his serve as he served for the match at 5-4. In addition, he committed two consecutive unforced errors to trail 15/30 at 5-6. Although he was two points away from losing the set, the local player forced a tie-break in which he did not have an easy time either.
The Japanese held a 4/1 lead in the tiebreak, but Bautista Agut won the last six points of the match (two of them on game winners) to advance to the second round and post an astonishing 16-3 record in the first rounds on grass.
“It was a difficult game, this track matches all the games a lot. And we all know how difficult it is in this heat, the boats are not the best,” said the No. 20 Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “I’m happy to have won the match, I’ve been through difficult times and that’s good, after being out of action for a while, I think it’s important to go through that, luckily I won the match in the second set that I complicated position”, added the 34-year-old right-hander, who last week in Halle, already recovered from a wrist injury, played his first tournament since the Mutua Madrid Open.
He could now face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the second round of this ATP 250 if he beats Serbian Laslo Djere on Tuesday. “I think that in principle the main favorite is him. He is a player with a powerful serve. Novak Djokovic has been lackluster this season, winning a single title in Rome.Speaking during a recent interview with CLAY, Davydenko said that while Novak Djokovic will be keen to win a few more Majors. “He [Novak Djokovic] is getting older now, it will be interesting, but I am sure he wants to win a few more Slams.
He has a good chance in Wimbledon and at the US Open, provided that he plays. Depends on his preparation,” Davydenko said. The former World No. 3 reminisced about an early encounter on the practice courts with a 17-year-old Novak Djokovic and said he saw a special spark in the Serbian right away.
“He was 16-17 years old at the time, he was working with Riccardo Piatti, and he told me: ‘Novak will be the next top player’. And I answered: ‘It seems so’. In two years, he was already in the top 10. Amazing – boom. And he is still there,” Davydenko added.