Bautista Agut battles past Berdych to rule in Doha

Published by AAP

Roberto Bautista Agut’s Qatar Open final triumph against Tomas Berdych was also his 250th tour-level match victory.

Roberto Bautista Agut has backed up his semi-final victory over world No.1 Novak Djokovic by defeating wild card Tomas Berdych to win the Qatar Open final in Doha.

The world No. 24 claimed a ninth ATP Tour title with an enthralling 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory in just under two hours on Saturday.

Spaniard Bautista Agut, the tournament’s seventh seed, forced a break chance to lead 5-3 midway through the opening set, which he eventually claimed while Czech Berdych saved three set points on his next service game.

Berdych, ranked 71st in the world, had beaten Italian fourth seed Marco Cecchinato to make the final and would go on to force a decider having moved 3-1 ahead in the second set.

Bautista Agut, though, again found his range when it mattered to break Berdych early on and then move 5-2 up before closing out victory on his first match point with a love service game.

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“It was a great start to the season,” said an ambitious Bautista Agut . “I wish to feel good physically, mentally, like I am now, like I felt this week. And if this happens, I think I can get better in the rankings, and why not be closer to the Top 10?”

At the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, top seed Kevin Anderson defeated veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (4) 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5) to claim his sixth tour-level title.

The South African had found himself 5-2 down in the deciding tie-break but fought back to win the ATP Tour final in the open era contested by the two tallest players.

Croatian Karlovic, the 39-year-old standing at 6ft 11ins, had also made history as the oldest player since Ken Rosewall, aged 43, at the 1977 Hong Kong Championship to reach a tour-level final.

“You don’t get to win tournaments every week, so when you do it is very special,” Anderson said at the trophy ceremony. “It is something that definitely means a lot to me.”

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