Spanish tennis star Roberto Bautista Agut acknowledged that it was difficult to play tennis in the windy conditions against rising Russian star Andrey Rublev.
Bautista Agut, ranked at No. 13 in the world, handed a 6-3 6-3 loss to No. 3 seed Rublev to make the Doha final.
Bautista Agut earned the first break of the match in the fourth game and then routinely held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener.
Bautista Agut then started the second set with a break but got broken back in the following game.
After serving out for a 3-2 lead, Rublev’s game fell apart as Bautista Agut claimed back-to-back breaks to win the set and wrap up a straight-set win.
“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions,” said Bautista Agut, per the ATP website. “But I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday [against Dominic Thiem], but I felt fresh and I had a lot of power on the court.”
Bautista Agut aiming his second Doha title
Bautista Agut claimed his lone Doha title in 2019 after beating Czech Tomas Berdych in the final.
“This court and tournament is one of my favourites,” said Bautista Agut, after recording the 14th Top 10 win of his career. “I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow.”
Bautista Agut, who beat Dominic Thiem a round earlier, backed up his Thiem win with a win over Rublev to claim back-to-back top-10 wins for the first time in his career.
“He’s always such a difficult opponent to play as he fights from the first to the last point,” Thiem said of Bautista Agut. “[He] doesn’t give you anything for free. He also feels super good here in Doha. Obviously, two years ago he won the title.”