Just last week, Daniil Medvedev rode past Roberto Bautista Agut on grass in straight sets at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. On Thursday, the Spaniard turned the script around.
Bautista Agut passed the world No. 1 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Mallorca Championships. It marked the fourth time that the veteran defeated the No. 1 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (4-8), with his three previous wins against Novak Djokovic.
“I had to play really well to beat Daniil. He is the number 1, the last champion here in Mallorca. He just beat me a few days ago. I played a really competitive game,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I was more confident in my game today, I hit strong, very solid. I think I played a very good game.”
It was not the first time that the 34-year-old Medvedev harassed. In fact, Bautista Agut won their three previous encounters outside of Halle with the loss of just one set.
Medvedev consistently frustrates opponents with his solid play, flat shots and great first serve that pressures them throughout the match. But it was the frontrunner on Thursday who was visibly frustrated and made unusual mistakes when he tried to crack the Bautista Agut code.
Normally Medvedev feels at ease during extended rallies with everyone on Tour. But against Bautista Agut, he tried to change the rhythm with drop shots and other plays, while the Spaniard stayed in his comfort zone. The fifth seed only suffered one break – which he saved – in his 71-minute triumph.
“You have to be very sure that you can make it. Last week I was a bit far,” said Bautista Agut. “Today I was very confident. I knew that if I played a good game, I would get my chances, and I got them.”
This year’s champions of Doha will next play against Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier or Dutchman Tallon Dikkepoor as he is on the hunt for his second title of the season. Bautista Agut won his first ATP Tour trophy on the grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2014 and reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2019.