Spanish tennis pro Roberto Bautista Agut scooped up the Aircel Chennai Open title yesterday (Sunday) after a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Russia's Daniil Medvedev.
Bautista's fifth ATP World Tour trophy of his career, the Chennai Open comes after his successes in Sofia, Bulgaria and Auckland, New Zealand in 2016 and, although he did not net any titles the previous year, the Spaniard got off to a great start in 2014 with the Stuttgart Open and the s-Hertogenbosch under his belt.
Bautista considers the Chennai Open a key tournament in his having soared to his current ranking, ATP world number 14, gradually putting his name on the global tennis map, due to his excellent results in the previous four years at the same event – even though this is the first time he has won it.
His Chennai results have also been a helpful barometer of his own progress: “I'm a far better player than I was five years ago,” he admits.
“I'm more experienced and have improved in many ways.”
With the whole of the 2017 season ahead of him, Bautista is thrilled to have clinched a major title in the first week of the New Year in a tournament he more or less sailed through.
With a break in the first set of round one, Bautista had it in the bag on 3-1, then on his first match point in set two, closed on 5-4, winning 84% of his first serves and not facing a single break point - to seal his victory in an hour and 13 minutes.
Round two saw Bautista breezing through against Rogério Dutra Silva, then Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter finals, before securing his place in the final round after a two-set 6-3 6-3 win against Benoît Paire, seeded fifth, in the semis.
Medvedev, 20, made it through to his first-ever ATP World Tour final match by beating Dudi Sela, but fell at the last hurdle in his quest to become only the third Next Generation ATP player to scoop up a World Tour victory – a feat so far only achieved by Alexandr Zverev in St Petersburg and Karen Khachanov in Chengdu in autumn 2016.
The young Russian said Bautista, seeded second, 'played amazingly' and was 'more consistent' than him.
“There was little I could do about it – although I tried as hard as I could, Bautista was simply a better player than I was on the day,” Medvedev admitted.