Bautista Agut now 3-0 against Medvedev after taking Miami quarterfinal

Bautista Agut now 3-0 against Medvedev after taking Miami quarterfinal

On Wednesday evening, Roberto Bautista Agut guaranteed a first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion will be crowned at the Miami Open after ousting world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, 6-4, 6-2.

There will be a first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion at this year’s Miami Open thanks to Roberto Bautista Agut, who scored a convincing victory over world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev Wednesday evening.

Bautista Agut remained perfect in the pair’s series, dismissing Medvedev, 6-4, 6-2, to notch his third victory against the two-time major finalist. The 32-year-old previously won encounters at 2017 Chennai and 2020's ‘Cincinnati in New York.’

"To beat Daniil in two sets, it's because I played great tennis," Bautista Agut asserted. "I was very solid and I could play with a lot of rhythm, make him work a lot. Physically, I felt well on the court."

Getty Images

While Medvedev possesses the more imposing serve, the top seed didn’t pick up enough free points to set the tone in the opener—despite making 73 percent of his first delivery. Bautista Agut’s rally tolerance and foot speed are world class, and each area enabled the Spaniard to open a one-set advantage.

With Medvedev serving at 4-4, 40-15, the seventh seed claimed four consecutive points to break, highlighted by winning a 20-shot rally to reach deuce. Medvedev twice slammed his racquet down in frustration before walking to his chair—yet gave himself a chance to extend the set a few minutes later.

However, a netted backhand return off a 90 m.p.h. second serve denied an opportunity to apply pressure, and Bautista Agut closed without further resistance. He impressively won 18 of their 30 rallies that went five shots or fewer.

The reigning ATP Finals champion found himself down 0-40 to start the second set. Missing all three opportunities, Bautista Agut immediately put the disappointment behind him by winning a crucial test of patience. After forcing Medvedev to come in following a series of baseline strokes, the Spaniard correctly predicted a crosscourt approach—and redirected a backhand into the open court that his scrambling 6’ 6’’ opponent couldn’t track down.

Bautista Agut went on to break and later erased a 15-40 deficit in the fourth game. At 30-40, Medvedev had the rally in his hands, but a refusal to come forward undid the Russian. As his backhand drive volley from no man’s land flew well long to end the 25-shot exchange, Bautista Agut erupted with a resounding “Vamos!”

The momentum never left his racquet from there.

"I [started] the second set very focused," Bautista Agut said. "It was good for me to make a break and be up on the score [in] the second set from the beginning. 

"It's never easy to beat these guys."

Into his second career semifinal on the Masters-1000 stage, Bautista Agut will take on No. 21 seed Jannik Sinner for a spot in the final on Friday. Just two weeks ago, Sinner prevailed, 7-5 in the third, to clinch their quarterfinal clash in Dubai. The 19-year-old Italian defeated Alexander Bublik, 7-6 (5), 6-4, earlier Wednesday.