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.
A week @BautistaAgut will never forget ????
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) January 5, 2019
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.
“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.
— Qatar Tennis Fed. (@QatarTennis) January 5, 2019
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.”
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) January 5, 2019
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