Bautista Agut stuns top-ranked Djokovic in Miami
Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a record seventh Miami Open ATP title ended in dramatic fashion on March 26 as Roberto Bautista Agut superbly recovered from a first set destruction to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 and book a place in the quarterfinals.
The 30 year-old Spaniard may have beaten Djokovic on the way to winning the title in Doha earlier this year but 15-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic started like a train in this last 16 encounter before being amazingly reined back in.
After just 25 minutes, Djokovic was 5-0 ahead and on cruise control, Bautista Agut severely struggling to keep the Serbian at bay.
A short rain delay late in the second set allowed Bautista Agut to regroup, however.
He returned a completely different player and at the end of an absorbing two hours and 29 minutes, it was the number 22 seed who will now meet defending champion John Isner for a place in the semi-finals.
“Of course this is very special for me,” said Bautista Agut. “I just tried to play aggressive.”
Djokovic left court and headed straight to a press conference to try and explain this most remarkable of turnarounds at Hard Rock Stadium.
“He is a solid player but I shouldn’t have lost this match, I had way too many wasted opportunities,” said the world number one, who also failed to make the latter stages of Indian Wells this month.
“I thought I played well today and during this tournament but two or three sluggish games and that’s what happens.”
Djokovic also hinted his vociferous involvement in ATP tennis politics which saw President Chris Kermode ousted this month may have affected his focus.