With all due respect, the players are raving about Roberto Bautista Agut | ATP Tower


Roberto Bautista Agut usually flies under the radar. The Spaniard is not flashy on the court, and he is not straightforward. But in recent years, the 32-year-old has proven himself to be one of the toughest opponents on the ATP Tour, and his peers have taken notice.“He’s probably one of the most underrated tennis players we’ve had in the past five years,” said world number one Novak Djokovic. “He deserves, I think, more respect than he gets.

Bautista Agut has gentle manners, rarely showing excessive emotion on the pitch. It usually does not crush winners out of the blue. The nine-time ATP Tour champion is methodical. He works the ball on the pitch and drives opponents crazy with his consistency, giving almost no free points. Any point earned by a player against Bautista Agut is well deserved.

“His style of play is so consistent. He doesn’t give much at all. He doesn’t make too many direct mistakes. You can always expect him to play at that certain level, ”Djokovic said. “He doesn’t lower his tennis level at all on any surface.

“It slows you down. He kind of wears you down and tries, in a way, to choke you on the court and wait for his chances and then he takes it. Mentally, he is also very strong. It is resilient. He’s just consistent everywhere.

It’s not just his style of play that is consistent. The last time Bautista Agut was not in the Top 30 of the FedEx ATP ranking was in May 2014. Last August, he made his entry into the Top 10 for the first time at 31 years old.

He doesn’t win hard, but he wins a lot. Bautista Agut has achieved at least 40 tour-level victories in five of his last six seasons and he started at 12-3 in 2020 after making the semi-finals of the Western and Southern Open , in which he will play Djokovic.

Just before the ATP Tour resumed last weekend, former World No.1 Andy Murray did an Instagram Q&A in which a fan asked who was the most underrated player on the tour.

“Good question,” Murray replied. “Roberto Bautista Agut has been in the Top 20 for a long time, it seems!”

“Whenever a player like Andy says a good thing about me it’s always nice,” Bautista Agut told ATPTour.com. “He has all the respect of the other players and I’m very, very happy to listen to those words from Andy. ”

Does he think he’s underrated?

“I don’t care,” Bautista Agut said. “I just want to play. ”

That’s what Bautista Agut did in his quarterfinal against fit Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev stormed the opening set 6-1 and held a 0/40 advantage over the Spaniard’s serve in the opener of the second set. But Bautista Agut continued to snack until he leveled up, ultimately frustrating the Russian.

“He’s really solid. He knows what he’s doing on the court. He knows how to win games. He wins a lot of games every year. so he knows his strengths, he knows his weaknesses [and] he tries to play with [them]”Medvedev said. “He’s a smart guy on the pitch. he is [been] a top player for years, so he’s sure to [beat] lots of top guys.

Bautista Agut is never the center of attention in the players’ lounge. But he’s widely respected by everyone, including defending Nitto ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“He’s probably one of my best friends on tour. We don’t really talk much, but whenever he’s around we always have a good time, with him and his coach. He’s a very close friend of mine, a really nice guy, ”Tsitsipas said. “I think on the pitch he’s one of the greatest fighters and one of the most consistent and calm players and at the same time, [one of the most] persistent players on the Tour.

“He can play very well. If he’s having a good day, it’s really hard to play against him.

Bautista Agut will try to win his fourth straight hard game against Djokovic on Friday. In doing so, he would qualify for his second Masters 1000 final.

“It’s true that I played some very good matches against Novak,” said Bautista Agut, before quickly diverting attention from himself. “I have to tell you, he hasn’t lost a game this year. He’s the favorite and I’ll try to play my game and enjoy another good game against him.


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