Bautista Agut Continues Hot Form In Auckland, Medvedev Wins Maiden Title in Sydney
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Whether at an exhibition or at the ATP level, Roberto Bautista Agut continued his roaring start to 2018 with his second career title in Auckland. He upset Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1 4-6 7-5, beating the Tower of Tandil by the narrowest of margins. RBA also won a close match in the semis, beating Robin Haase in a third set tiebreak in one of the matches of the season (already). He also beat Michael Venus, Steve Johnson, and Jiri Vesely on the week.
Juan Martin Del Potro posted impressive wins over Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov, and David Ferrer, winning six straight sets before his defeat at the hands of RBA. He looks set to challenge at the Australian Open. Ferrer also found some much needed form in Auckland.
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic defeated Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald in the doubles final.
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Qualifier Daniil Medvedev rose up and won his maiden ATP title 1-6 4-6 7-5 over fellow young gun Alex De Minaur in Sydney. Despite home support and a one set lead, De Minaur succumbed to Medvedev’s groundstrokes in the end. The Russian won both his qualifying matches with ease, dispatched Philipp Kohlschreiber easily, then defeated Jared Donaldson in 3, Paolo Lorenzi in 2, and then Fabio Fognini in 3 sets.
De Minaur continued his incredible breakthrough to start 2018, he slayed Fernando Verdasco, Damir Dzumhur, Feliciano Lopez, and Benoit Paire to reach the final. Only Paire took a set off of him prior to the final. Both finalists will be trendy picks in Melbourne.
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat J.L. Struff/Viktor Troicki in the doubles final.