10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Bautista Agut ousts Rublev, Sinner only seed left in Adelaide bottom half

After just one round of the Adelaide International, only one seed remains in the bottom half of the draw. No. 2 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 5 Holger Rune crashed out on Monday before No. 4 Andrey Rublev fell to Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday.

Rublev seemed to have victory in hand when he took the opening set and then surged ahead 2-0 in the second. However, Bautista Agut is never one to go down without a fight and he certainly didn’t in this contest. The 21st-ranked Spaniard eventually broke back for 3-3 and that sent him off to the races. After Bautista Agut forced a decider, the final turning points came in the sixth and seventh games. The 34-year-old saved a break point at 2-3 and then struck for the only break of set three in the ensuing game.

The top half the Adelaide bracket, on the other hand, is entirely intact. Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov, and Karen Khachanov all won their openers. Djokovic did not have much trouble getting past Constant Lestienne 6-3, 6-2.

“For the first match I can’t complain,” the 35-year-old Serb assessed. “I played very well. I thought the first six games were very competitive and I have never faced him before. He is a counter-puncher; he doesn’t make too many mistakes. He has a tricky serve–hits his spots. But once I made that break at 3-2 in the first set I thought I stepped it up and played really good tennis for the rest of the match.”

The first set was pretty much the entire match for Medvedev, who saved an incredible nine set points against Lorenzo Sonego en route to stealing it 7-6(6). Sonego eventually retired while trailing 2-1 in the second.

“It was crazy,” Medvedev assured. “It’s probably the first time I’ve saved nine set points in my life. What a match to start the year. It was unfortunate for everyone that it had to finish early, and I wish Lorenzo a speedy recovery.”

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