AUCKLAND, January 13, 2018
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut won his second ASB Classic title in Auckland after 2016, breaking Juan Martin del Potro in the 11th game of the third set and serving out the match a game later in Saturday’s final.
Bautista Agut secured a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 victory in two hours and seven minutes. The World No. 21 won his seventh ATP World Tour title and his first of the new season. The 29-year-old has now won his past three ATP World Tour finals, dating back to 2017 Chennai (d. Medvedev) and 2017 Winston-Salem Open (d. Dzumhur). Bautista Agut might be at his best in Auckland, as he improved to 13-2 in the New Zealand city.
“It’s been a fantastic week for me. I gave everything I have on the court this week… It was an unbelievable match today. I’ve been fighting a lot on the court… I played two amazing games at the [end] of the match,” Bautista Agut said.
“I started the match very well. I knew it was going to be important, the beginning of the match. I wanted to play very aggressive. I wanted to be ready… I think I played very aggressive… I tried to have Juan Martin moving around the court.”
Del Potro was trying to win his second Auckland title after 2009. The Argentine will return to the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings on Monday for the first time since 4 August 2014. He fell to 20-10 in tour-level finals.
“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,” Del Potro said.
Marach/Pavic Claim Doubles Crown
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic have started the 2018 ATP World Tour season perfectly. For the second consecutive week, the Austrian/Croatian pairing went 4-0 to win an ATP World Tour doubles title, beating Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 in one hour and 29 minutes. In week one, Marach and Pavic captured the doubles crown at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
“We have a lot of confidence, played two good weeks. Now it’s time to recover and get sharp for Melbourne,” Marach is looking forward to the first Grand Slam of the season.
“It was not an easy match today especially against Max. He has a lot of experience, and he played a good match. But I think it just helped us a little bit that we got a little edge in the beginning of the [Match] Tie-break,” Pavid added.