10sBalls.com

Bautista Agut Beats Medvedev Again, Sinner Advances to First Masters 1000 Semi in Miami Tennis

Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in action against Daniil Medvedev of Russia during their Men’s singles match at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Miami Gardens, Florida, USA, 31 March 2021. EPA-EFE/RHONA WISE



By Ricky Dimon

Prior to their Miami Open quarterfinal contest on Wednesday night, Daniil Medvedev indicated that “there are reasons” why Roberto Bautista Agut is not ranked higher than he is.

Medvedev, himself, may still be trying to find out what those reasons are.

The world No. 2 fell to 0-3 lifetime in the head-to-head series when he fell to Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 32 minutes. Medvedev had no answers for the Spaniard’s brick-wall defense and incredible ball-striking. Bautista Agut was out-aced eight to zero, but he was basically flawless from the back of the court all night long and helped his chances by saving all three of the break points he faced.

“I want to give Daniil all the credit,” the world No. 12 commented. “I know he is one of the best players in the world. He’s been winning a lot of matches; he’s No. 2 in the world. So I’m very happy and proud about how I played today. I think I showed a great level on the court.”

Bautista Agut is through to the Miami semifinals for the first time in his career, but he is no stranger to this stage of Masters 1000 events. The 32-year-old advanced this far at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open and finished runner-up at the 2016 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Up next for Bautista Agut is a first-time Masters 1000 semifinalist, Jannik Sinner. The 19-year-old Italian battled past Alexander Bublik 7-6(5), 6-4 in a wildly entertaining match.

Jannik Sinner of Italy in action against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan during their Men’s singles match at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Miami Gardens, Florida, USA, 31 March 2021. EPA-EFE/RHONA WISE



“We had a tough battle two weeks ago in Dubai,” said Sinner, who won that previous showdown in three sets. “[It was] tough here today, as well. It was strange today. He was changing the game…. I never had this kind of match, to be honest. I just tried to stay there, stick into the match, and I am happy about my performance today.”

At the handshake, Bublik told his opponent, “You’re not human, man. You’re 15 years old and you play like this.”

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