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Bautista Agut Beats Del Potro @ASB Classic, Medvedev Wins Sydney Tennis Title Over Future Star de Minaur

Daniil Medvedev of Russia poses for a photograph with the winner’s trophy after defeating Alex de Minaur of Australia in the men’s final match at the Sydney International Tennis Tournament at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Sydney, Australia, 13 January 2018. EPA-EFE/DAN HIMBRECHTS



Bautista Agut beats Del Potro at ASB Classic, Medvedev wins Sydney title over de Minaur


By Ricky Dimon


After a battle between one-time ASB Classic champions, Roberto Bautista Agut captured his second career Auckland title by defeating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday. Having previously been broken only once throughout the course of the week, Del Potro dropped serve four times before falling in two hours and seven minutes.


“It’s been a fantastic week for me,” said Bautista Agut, who outlasted Robin Haase 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in the semis. “I gave everything I have on the court this week. It was an unbelievable match today; [I was] fighting a lot on the court. I played two amazing games at the [end] of the match.”


“I think my game improved a little bit,” Del Potro noted, referring to how he recovered from losing the first set 6-1. “I could play even better, but Roberto did well at the end of the match. Roberto is a great champion, so congratulations to him…. It’s a good start of the year for me. I didn’t expect to reach a final in my first tournament of the year, but I played well.”


At the Sydney International, meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev prevailed in a surprising NextGen showdown between a qualifier and a special exemption for his first career ATP title. Playing in his second final (Chennai, 2016), Medvedev–the qualifier–survived Alex de Minaur 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.


All of 18 years old, de Minaur earned his spot in the Sydney field by reaching last week’s Brisbane semis. The Australian treated the home crowd to even more dramatics in Sydney, but came up just short in his first career ATP final. de Minaur trailed 4-0 in the third set before mounting a charge for 5-5, only to get broken to trail again–this time 6-5.


Medvedev delivered a clutch love hold in the 12th game to clinch victory.


“It’s very tough, of course,” the Russian said of playing against someone with so much crowd support. “But the only thing, I think [the crowd] works for everyone. If the crowd goes really crazy, sometimes it can turn you on, also. Even if it’s against you, you don’t feel it that it’s against them. I’m sure he wouldn’t make the comeback in the third set without the crowd. It was tough, but I’m really happy to manage this.”


“Just keep digging, leave it all out there, find a way to just make it competitive,” de Minaur said when asked how he made what was almost a final-set comeback. “I didn’t want to just not leave it all out there, especially for everyone who stayed out there. I wanted to just compete until the last point, and I thought that’s what I did. I left it all out there on court.”


de Minaur–and everyone else–will be back in action this upcoming week at the Australian Open. He has a first-round showdown on his hands with Tomas Berdych.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter

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