Roberto Bautista Agut threw a wrench into any plans by holder Daniil Medvedev to repeat his title at the Cincinnati Masters, with the Spaniard earning a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 recovery win on Wednesday.
RBA came good in New York, site of the socially-isolated tournament with players in strict quarantine without benefit of fans.
The Spaniard needed two and a quarter hours to end the American success of the 2019 champion and finalist against Rafael Nadal at the US open a year ago,
Russian Medvedev managed eight aces but lost serve five times.
The winner began turning the match around after half an hour on court as he trailed a set and 1-0 while down 0-40 on his serve.
Bautista Agut, seeded eighth, reversed the momentum in impressive fashion in a comeback to remember. He saved 15 of 28 break points to eventually escape with the win.
“After the first set, I was thinking a lot of bad things,” he said. “It was a very good comeback.
“I tried to do some different things, mix up a little bit with the slice. (I hit) some great volleys and it was a fantastic match for me.”
Victory was a repeat of a match three years ago, when the 12th-ranked Spaniard beat the Russian for the title in Chennai.
‘He doesn’t drop his level of tennis much at all on any surface,” Djokovic said.
“That’s why he’s probably one of the most underrated tennis players that we have in the last five years…he deserves I think more respect than he gets.”
Main photo:- Roberto Bautista-Agut Photo Peter Staples ATP Tour.com