Bautista-Agut captures Maiden title in Rosmalen
Roberto Bautista Agut mounted an impressive rally to claim his maiden ATP World Tour crown on Saturday, defeating Benjamin Becker in the Topshelf Open final.
Bautista Agut captured his first title with a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory, overcoming 13 aces and a 32-minute first set in favour of his German counterpart. One of the ATP World Tour’s fastest-rising players in 2014, the Spaniard has soared from World No. 73 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to start the year to a new career-high of No. 23 with his title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
The third-seeded Bautista Agut becomes the second first-time champion this year after Federico Delbonis won in Sao Paulo (d. Lorenzi). He was competing in just his second final at the age of 26, having previously fallen in the 2013 Aircel Chennai Open title match to Janko Tipsarevic.
The 25th Den Bosch final commenced on an overcast and windy Saturday afternoon, with Becker racing to a 4-1 lead in the first set behind a pair of early breaks. The Castellon de la Plana native was unable to counter Becker’s pace and guile in the baseline rallies as the German veteran needed just 32 minutes to take the opener.
Bautista Agut’s game would gain traction as the match progressed, however, and he would snatch the second set in a tie-break and surge to an early lead in the third set behind a break in the fifth game. As Becker pressed for a break back, Bautista Agut held steady, and he would hold on for the title in exactly two hours.
He is the fifth different Spanish winner this year, with Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Fernando Verdasco also bringing home trophies to the Iberian nation. He is also the second different Spaniard to triumph in Den Bosch after Ferrer prevailed in 2008 and 2012.
"It took me a while to recover from a very long match yesterday and I was getting better and better after the first set," said Bautista Agut, who earns $77,350 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with the win.
"I was more focused and started to feel better physically. I was trying to not think too much and play my game point by point. It was the same nervousness as every match. I played calm and agressive in the last game. I had to celebrate hard (after match point) and enjoy the moment."
Becker, meanwhile, was seeking his second tour-level crown in his third final. He previously claimed victory in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2009, defeating Raemon Sluiter in straight sets. The German falls to 14-4 on the lawns of the Autotron Rosmalen since making his debut in 2007.
The 33 year old was looking to become the eighth different 30-over titlist to win on the ATP World Tour this year and the fourth unseeded Den Bosch champion in the last five years.
"I like it here a lot," Becker said. "I've always enjoyed my time on grass and I've had success at this tournament. I look forward to coming back next year."
To Roberto Bautista-Agut