AUKLAND: Roberto Bautista Agut received a big confidence boost going into the Australian Open when he beat Juan Martin del Potro in three sets in the ATP Auckland Classic final on Saturday.
Del Potro, who had not dropped a set all week, was unable to hold serve once in the first set as the Spaniard fought his way to a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win.
Both players are seeded in the Australian Open with del Potro 12th and Bautista Agut 20th but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland.
He targeted the Argentinian’s backhand with confidence and when he switched to the forehand court del Potro’s return placement was off in the first set.
But in the second set del Potro regained his touch and broke Bautista Agut for the first time at 5-4 to take the set.
The final set remained with serve until Bautista Agut broke at 5-5 and then served for the match.
Ranked 14th in the world after his long absence, Djokovic will be one to avoid in Thursday's draw for Australian Open
Scot withdraws from Brisbane International to spark questions around his participation in 2018’s first grand slam
Legendary players will light up exhibition event in bid to gauge fitness levels