Spain's Bautista Agut clinches Aircel Chennai Open trophy

8th January 2017

Nungambakkam, Jan. 8: Spain's No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut underlined his class and superiority as he effortlessly annexed the 22nd Aircel Chennai Open here at the SDAT Stadium on Sunday.

The World No. 14, who claimed two ATP titles in 2016, began the New Year too in style, demolishing Russia's NextGen player Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-4 in a hopelessly one-sided contest. He needed just 1 hour and 13 minutes to pocket the trophy, 250 points and $79,780.

The fight faded out of Medvedev, who anyway moves languidly on the court, at the start of the second set itself as he was beset by cramps, following his three-set victory in the semifinals on Saturday. He summoned his trainer for a quick-fix solution but couldn't muster the energy or fight to make a comeback.

Bautista Agut, on the other hand, was his usual calm and collected self as he became the first Spaniard to claim the Aircel Chennai Open since Carlos Moya won it in 2005. He kept the ball in play, inviting Medvedev to make the shots as well as the mistakes. He covered the court well and came up with successive forehand winners.

"I played a great match tactically," Bautista Agut said, after taking the trophy in his hands and celebrating his triumph. "I was very solid and could play aggressively whenever I wanted," he added.

"My game-plan was to keep him moving. I returned very well and that put pressure on his serve, and he started making moves," he explained.

Medvedev refused to blame his defeat on the medical timeout though. "I felt sore in my right leg and had to call my trainer. But I didn't lose because of that. He played amazing tennis. He was very consistent and was a much better player. I didn't have a single break point," he pointed out.

The six-foot five-inch tall Medvedev, who was playing his first ATP final, look out of depth in front of a packed stadium and made too many unforced errors. He was broken in his second game itself as a mishit and a double-fault saw him slip to 0-40. He saved the first break point with a spectacular backhand down the line drive and the second thanks to the net.

But Bautista Agut pounced on his second serve and surged ahead 3-1 by attacking the net. He needed barely 8 shots in the next game to hold his own serve for 4-1. He fought hard for another break, staving off three game points. But Medvedev came up with an ace to get away unscathed on this occasion.

The second set went with serve till 3-3, when Medvedev sought his trainer. He held on to his serve for 4-3 but a double faults meant that he was on his way out. Bautista Agut broke him with a forehand winner and rounded off another love game to take the game, set and match.

Bautista Agut, however, only had good things to say about his losing opponent.

"He is a very good player. He is tall, serves well, and has strokes from the baseline. I am sure a great future lies ahead of him," he said.

Results (Finals) Singles: Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) beat Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 6-3, 6-4

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