"He is the favourite" - Bautista Agut on his match versus Novak at the Western and Southern Open
Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Novak in their three previous meetings but the Spaniard is careful not to overestimate his own level.
While it is true that Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Novak Djokovic in their last three meetings it is also true that Novak leads the matchup with 9-3. It is because of that that the Spaniard is very careful ahead of their match at the Western and Southern Open later today.
On his play so far Bautista-Agut said:
"I’m happy. I think I have been practicing hard [and] doing a lot of great things at home. It’s never easy to come back and play well in the first tournament. I think I have to be patient and try to enjoy every single match I play here after six months without competing. I’m just pleased and happy to be in the semi-finals."
And indeed Bautista-Agut looked very good throughout the week even when faced with issues like he had in the match against Khachanov. He managed to fight back and it was a true testimony at the fighting spirit this Spaniard possesses.
His next opponent will be Novak Djokovic, a man he defeated in three consecutive hard court meetings.
“Novak is a great player. It’s true that I played really good matches against Novak, [but] he didn’t lose a match this year. He is the favorite. I will try to play my game and try to enjoy another good match against him.”
As for Novak, it will be a tough match, not only because the Spaniard does well against him but also because he never gives up. After their last meeting Djokovic said:
"I was winning comfortably, [up a] set, having some chances in the second set and then things turned around. But that’s what he does. He slows you down. He wears you down and tries to, in a way, suffocate you on the court and wait for his chances, and then he takes it."
It seems Novak knows exactly what's in store for him and with his 21-0 unbeaten streak at risk the stakes are quite high. The match will start after the first semifinal concludes. Play starts at 19:00 CET or 1 pm (New York) time.