Bautista Agut, a semi-finalist in Halle five years ago, stated that his flat groundstrokes are one of the reasons he plays well on grass.
Roberto Bautista Agut stunned top seed Daniil Medvedev at the Terra Wortmann Open on Friday with a clean-hitting performance. The Spaniard defeated Medvedev 7-5, 7-6(3) to earn his fifth victory over the World No. 3, who defeated Bautista Agut last year in Halle on his way to the final. Bautista Agut, 35, had the upper hand in long rallies and countered Medvedev’s deep return position with drop shots and close points at net. Bautista Agut, a semi-finalist in Halle five years ago, stated that his flat groundstrokes are one of the reasons he plays well on grass.
“I think to beat Daniil on this court, you have to play really good,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I did not feel good some months this year, but I kept working hard. I know tennis is sometimes very difficult, but today it showed up that I’ve been working hard. It showed up that a lot of things, I have been working on and I’m very happy because I played very good tennis.”
“I think I can move well on grass, I think I’m fast,” the Spaniard added. “My shots are flat and the most important thing is that I enjoy playing on this surface.”
In Halle, World No. 23 Bautista Agut will face Andrey Rublev. The third seed, a finalist at the ATP 500 in 2021, rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tallon Griekspoor to cap off Friday’s action. Rublev improved to 2-0 in the pair’s head-to-head series, which began earlier this season in Rotterdam. Rublev, who is now 4-2 in tour-level quarter-finals this season, ended Griekspoor’s seven-match winning streak. Griekspoor won the’s-Hertogenbosch title last week and saved a match point to beat Hubert Hurkacz in the Halle second round.
Novak Djokovic broke new ground in men’s tennis on Sunday, defeating Casper Ruud 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 to win his record 23rd major title at Roland Garros. Djokovic overcame Ruud’s strong start on Court Philippe-Chatrier to claim a historic victory. The third seed won a tie-break after trailing 1-4 in the first set, then produced some of his best hitting of the fortnight in the second and third sets en route to a three-hour, 13-minute victory. With his victory, Djokovic reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from Carlos Alcaraz, and at the age of 36, he surpassed Rafael Nadal as the oldest Roland Garros champion.
“Obviously a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” said Djokovic at the trophy ceremony. “The four biggest tournaments that we have in our sport. Every single player dreams of being on this stage and winning the trophy at least once in their career. I’m beyond fortunate in my life to win 23 times, it’s an incredible feeling.”
With history on the line, an eager crowd gathered in Paris, including actor Hugh Grant, NFL legend Tom Brady (who sat in Djokovic’s player’s box) and football stars Kylian Mpabbe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Olivier Giroud, and the Serbian did not disappoint. After thwarting Ruud’s early charge, Djokovic barely looked back on his way to extending his ATP Head2Head series lead over the pair to 5-0. He outhit the fourth seed 52 to 31 while winning 80% (59/74) of points off his first serve.