AUCKLAND, January 16, 2016
Roberto Bautista-Agut secured his third ATP World Tour title, winning the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland on Saturday.
The eighth seeded Spaniard defeated 2015 champion Jiri Vesely, US-American Donald Young, two-time titlist John Isner and second favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, saving match point, en-route to the final.
On Saturday, Bautista-Agut benefited from the retirement of Jack Sock, who battled flu-like symptoms throughout the tournament and eventually withdrew after only 28 minutes due to illneess at a 6-1, 1-0 lead for the Spaniard.
The 27-year-old lifted his third trophy, after winning the titles in Stuttgart and s’Hertogenbosch in 2014. He takes $82,450 in prize money ans well as 250 ATP ranking points and will face Martin Klizan in the opening round of the Australian Open.
“I feel so happy. I think I had an amazing week. I had plenty of good wins, played wonderful tennis here. I feel sorry for Jack and I want to congratulate him because he had a really great year last year, and I want to wish him luck for the rest of this season,” Bautista-Agut told.
Sock was appearing in his third ATP World Tour final, all of which have come in the past nine months. He is now 2-2 lifetime against Bautista-Agut. Sock will take on fellow US-American Taylor Fritz in a highly expected first round encounter in Melbourne.
“I didn’t feel like I was really here today. It felt like an out of body experience,” Sock just stated afterwards.
Mate Pavic and Michael Venus won the doubles title without dropping a set. Hometown hero Venus became the first Auckland champion from New Zealand since Marcus Daniell partnered with Horia Tecau to win the 2010 title. The Croatian-New Zealand combination defeated US-Americans Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky in the final, winning 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and nine minutes.
“I was a little bit surprised we played that good today. Mike was a bit emotional today because he played a final in front of all of you guys,” Pavic said and his partner added:
“I think Kiwi tennis is in good hands right now with Michael playing so well, also Artem (Sitak) and Marcus. I hope the fans continue to support them.”