Bautista Agut Wraps Up Kitzbühel Crown

Roberto Bautista Agut (photo: Brigitte Urban)

KITZBÜHEL/WASHINGTON, July 30, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Roberto Bautista Agut needed just 92 minutes to end the dream run – and week to remember – for 20-year-old Austrian wild card Filip Misolic. The 34-year-old Spanish veteran defeated the 205th-ranked upstart from Graz, 6-2, 6-2, to win the ATP 250 Generali Open in Kitzbühel Saturday afternoon.

It marked the second time that Bautista Agut has won a title on clay and first since Stuttgart in 2014. Overall, Bautista Agut has won 11 career ATP Tour titles, including two this season.

“I enjoyed the final; I think I managed the pressure very well,” Baustisa Agut said after securing his second title of the season. “I knew I was a little bit the favorite today, but he had so many good wins this tournament and I knew it was going to be difficult. I played a very good match.”

Bautista Agut saved all three break points he faced during the title match on Centre Court with plenty of fans cheering for the last Austrian standing among five that started the week in the Austrian Alps. He broke Misolic’s serve four times in nine tries and won 51 percent of his total return points. Bautista Agut outpointed Misolic 70-48.

Earlier Saturday, Misolic’s dream week continued as he stormed to a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4) rain-delayed victory over 140th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann of Germany. The semifinal match was suspended Friday night after a two-hour rain interruption with Misolic ahead in the third-set tie-break 1-0.

The Austrian had trailed the 2020 Kitzbühel finalist Hanfmann 1-4 in the final set before mounting a comeback to force the tie-break.

When the two competitors returned to complete the tie-break, which Misolic won 7-4, Misolic was clearly the crowd favorite of the Austrians. He prevailed on his second match point after Hanfmann hit a forehand return long. In the end, after two hours and 25 minutes spread over two days – and despite being outpointed 96-93 – Misolic was the steadier player in the clutch. The win advanced him to his first ATP Tour title match.

About 30 minutes after Misolic raised him arms in celebration of his semifinal triumph, he was back on Centre Court to do battle against Bautista Agut. The native of Castellón de la Plana was attempting to become the ninth man this season to win tour-level titles on multiple surfaces after winning Doha on a hard-court surface in February. His wife, Ana, and son, Roberto, were there to cheer him on.

Bautista Agut broke Misolic twice in the 49-minute opening set, in the third and seventh games en route to winning the set 6-2. He saved the only break points he faced, which came in his opening service game and again in the sixth game. Misolic had trouble getting his first serve in play and paid the price as Bautista Agut won 58 percent of his second-serve return points.

Then, Baustista Agut built a double-break lead at 4-1 in the second set and, soon, put away the match and garnered the title on his second match-point opportunity.

“It was a very long time since I won a title on clay,” Bautista Agut said. “It’s very special for me, because I’ve done a lot of good work on this surface.”

Martinez and Sonego win first doubles title together

Pedro Martinez of Spain and Lorenzo Sonego of Italy first teamed up earlier this year at the Miami Open, an ATP Masters 1000-level event. This week in Kitzbühel, in just their third tour-level event together, they’ve won their first ATP Tour title.

Martinez and Sonego, both accomplished singles players and ranked tied for 68th as a doubles team, defeated top seeds Tim Puetz of Germany and Michael Venus of New Zealand, 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 in an hour and 58 minutes. The Spanish-Italian duo won 76 percent of their first serves, saved six of eight break points, converted two of five break-point opportunities and outpointed their opponents 75-73.

“I’m really happy because I played with a friend and that is really nice,” Sonego said. “I expected nothing from my doubles, but I really enjoyed every moment on court with Pedro. He played so well, and we could do something good in the future.”

Added Martinez: “We are both good fighters. After having a lot of chances in the first set, we had two opportunities to get a double break and we couldn’t do it. We had to keep believing we could win the match. I doubles, anything can happen.”

Indeed, from 6-all in the match tie-break after splitting the first two sets, Martinez and Sonego won four of the final six points of the match. Martinez, 25, was playing in his first ATP Tour doubles final while Sonego, 27, was competing in his second. In 2021, he won the title at Cagliari with Andrea Vavassori.

The victory improved their 2022 win-loss record to 6-2.

By the numbers

Yannick Hanfmann‘s semifinal loss prevented him from reaching his third ATP Tour final ranked outside the Top 100. Previously, he was ranked No. 170 when he reached the 2017 Gstaad final and No. 118 at the 2020 Kitzbühel title match.

“Quotable …”

“I want to congratulate Roberto. I have watched you on television [before] and to play here against you in the final is an honor for me.”

Filip Misolic of Austria, during the trophy ceremony after losing to Roberto Baustisa Agut in the Kitzbühel final. Misolic began his run to the final with a victory over Daniel Dutra da Silva and continued with wins against Pablo Andujar, Dusan Lajovic and Yannick Hanfmann.