Russian Teenager Stuns Bautista Agut

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, Spain

[17] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs. [138] Karen Khachanov (RUS)

This Russian teenager was impressive to watch.  He was not overwhelmed by the occasion of playing an opponent who is a very good player.  From the beginning of the match, Khachanov was the one dictating play and Bautista Agut could not find any answers to counter his attack. He lost the first set 2-6.  Things seemed headed to a quick end for Bautista Agut after he went down an early break in the second set; however, he was ranked as high as number fourteen because he never gives up a match without a fight.  He dug his heels in and fought back to even the set and got it to a tiebreak, which he won 7-6(4).

The Russian teenager was not discouraged by the loss of the second set despite having had an early lead.  He showed his maturity in the third set when he regained his focus and resumed the quality of tennis that won him the first set. There was a casual calmness to his shots.  He appeared to have all the time in the world to execute his strokes and for most of the match he did just that, the confidence of youth.  The slight wobble in the second set was perhaps not unexpected, he is still just a teenager and after winning the first set so easily it probably registered what he was so close to accomplishing.  He won 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, giving him his second impressive victory of the tournament.  His next opponent is the very tricky Ukrainian, Alexandr Dolgopolov.  How far will he go in this tournament?

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