Bautista beats Khachanov and will fight for his tenth title

Roberto Bautista brought out his characteristic claw against the always difficult Karen Khachanov to access the final of the ATP 250 in Doha. The Spaniard came back after a bad first set (2-6, 6-3 and 7-5) and is already in the final, where Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili awaits, whom he will face tomorrow (4:00 p.m. in Spain) in search of his tenth individual title on the ATP circuit.

The meeting did not start in the best way for Bautista. He could hardly hurt the rest against Khachanov’s seven aces in the first set. Inaccurate with the serve, he suffered in all his services, and ended up giving up two of them after conceding five break chances to his rival. It was in the second set when Bautista began to resist the attacks of the Russian slugger, not without suffering.

On his second serve of this set, Bautista came to save up to seven break balls. Khachanov despaired of not being able to get that break, and that’s when the Spaniard took advantage of the only break opportunity that had been presented to him in the entire match. It coincided in this sleeve that the number of direct serves of the Russian decreased (2) with the success of points won with Bautista’s first service increased (78%). With this resistance exercise, the one from Castellón forced the third and final set.

Again, Bautista resisted the onslaught of a Khachanov who scored another eight direct aces in the sleeve. He suffered less with his serve, managing to get two blank games in a row. The fatigue took its toll on the tennis players, who left until the two and a half hours of the match. Without a single chance to break, Bautista forced them when the Russian served to go to the tie-break. At the second he signed the break, and he only had to consolidate his serve to win the match. He was in for a nice surprise when, after his victory, his son ran out onto the track to celebrate with him.

With this victory, Bautista He reaches the 19th final of his career, where he currently has a balance of 50%: nine wins and nine losses. The one from Castellón aspires tomorrow to the tenth title of his career, the first since 2019, when he precisely won in Doha. Since then, Bautista has contested two more finals, both in 2021. Curiously, one of them was also in Doha, and against the same opponent as tomorrow: Nikoloz Basilashvili, who today defeated the Frenchman Rinderknech by a resounding 6-4 and 6-2 in just an hour and a quarter. Last year, the Georgian took the title winning in two sets (7-6 and 6-2), but the balance in the confrontations of both players favors the Spanish (3-2). Tomorrow, from 16:00 in Spain, Bautista hopes to take revenge for the last edition.

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