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Roberto Bautista Agut vs Matteo Berrettini J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open tennis live: Bautista Agut seeks third title of 2018 in Gstaad final

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 28 Jul 2018
  • Roberto Bautista Agut vs Matteo Berrettini is live from Gstaad at 11.30am local time on Sunday (10.30am BST)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Roberto Bautista Agut (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Roberto Bautista Agut targets his third ATP World Tour title of the season when he takes on first-time finalist Matteo Berrettini in the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open final in Gstaad on Sunday.

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Spanish World No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut seeks just the second clay-court title of his career on Sunday in the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open final against rookie finalist Matteo Berrettini. Bautista Agut has been an absolute beacon of consistency over the last few years and has secured an ATP World Tour title across all surfaces and multiple crowns in four of the last five years. However, he’s never won three titles in a season before - could that change in Gstaad? Berrettini meanwhile has been steadily rising for the last 18 months and hasn’t dropped a set all week in reaching his maiden ATP World Tour final. Can the Italian complete a dream week and post the upset? Bautista Agut and Berrettini take to court at 11.30am local time on Sunday (10.30am BST).

While Berrettini has largely cruised into the Gstaad final without relinquishing a set, it’s been a different story for the far more experienced Bautista Agut, with the Spaniard needing three sets in two of his matches this week in order to progress. Bautista came from a set down in his opening match to defeat young compatriot Jaume Munar 2-6 6-3 6-2, conquered Taro Daniel 7-5 6-1 in the quarter-finals and then once again recovered from losing the opening set to beat Laslo Djere 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 in Saturday’s semi-finals. That win propelled Bautista Agut into his first clay-court final since he won the 2014 Stuttgart title.

One of the most reliable performers on the ATP World Tour since he first broke into the world’s top 20 in 2014, Bautista Agut is one of those players that almost always beats the players he’s supposed to, but on the flip side, he rarely topples the very best - and that’s the reason why he hasn’t dropped out of the top 30 in the last five years and never moved past his career-high ranking of No. 13, with his record against top 10 players an underwhelming 7-41. Nevertheless, most players would take Bautista Agut’s career in a heartbeat - the 30-year-old has won eight ATP World Tour titles throughout his career, capturing two each in 2014 (Stuttgart, s-Hertogenbosch), 2016 (Sofia, Auckland), 2017 (Chennai, Winston-Salem) and 2018 (Dubai, Auckland).


It’s been another consistent but not overly spectacular season for Bautista Agut this year. He won aforementioned titles at the ASB Classic in Auckland and the 500-level Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the first two months of 2018, but he’s yet to beat a top 10 player and has failed to make the second week of any Grand Slam, losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Fernando Verdasco and in the third round of Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic, while he was forced to miss Wimbledon after sustaining a hip injury following a semi-final run in Halle. But Bautista Agut has taken advantage of a relatively soft field in Gstaad this week and now has the chance to win three titles in a season for the first time - can he take it?

Matteo Berrettini (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Not if Matteo Berrettini has his way. Ranked outside the world’s top 400 at the start of 2017, Berrettini has enjoyed a superb rise over the last 18 months into the top 100 - and he’s been quite brilliant in Gstaad to reach his maiden ATP World Tour final, scoring some big wins over the likes of Andrey Rublev and Feliciano Lopez, along with Radu Albot and Jurgen Zopp, to advance into the final.

"I'm extremely happy," Berrettini said after his 6-4 7-6(6) victory over Zopp in Saturday’s semi-finals. "The conditions were different today after the rain. I managed to raise my level and was fighting hard during the whole match. I've been playing a lot of important matches lately - winning a round in Rome, my first match at a Slam and more. I'm feeling well and excited about the final tomorrow."

As he said, Berrettini is getting used to playing in significant matches in 2018. He started the season by qualifying for Doha and upsetting Viktor Troicki and also made it into his first Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open. Berrettini would go on to capture the Challenger title in Bergamo in February and finish runner-up at the strong Irving Challenger in March, while he also secured his first ATP Masters 1000 win at home in Rome, defeating Frances Tiafoe before falling to defending champion Alexander Zverev.

The 22-year-old has continued his fine form over the last couple of months, beating Oscar Otte and Ernests Gulbis to advance to his first Grand Slam third round at the French Open, while he registered his first top 20 victory over Jack Sock to make the second round of Wimbledon. Now with his run to the Gstaad final - which makes him the youngest Italian to reach an ATP World Tour final since 2003 - Berrettini is projected to rise to No. 67 in the world - and around No. 53 if he can win his first title.

This will be the first meeting between the pair. Bautista Agut is obviously the more accomplished player and has plenty of experience in these sorts of situations. In all honesty, he’s probably one of the least favourable opponents for Berrettini in his first ATP final - as mentioned, the Spaniard has made a career of beating those ranked below him, and it’s hard to see him giving up this opportunity against a rookie finalist. Berrettini has been great this week, but I think he will fall just short of the silverware.


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Roberto Bautista Agut vs Matteo Berrettini J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open tennis live: Bautista Agut seeks third title of 2018 in Gstaad final

Roberto Bautista Agut targets his third ATP World Tour title of the season when he takes on first-time finalist Matteo Berrettini in the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open final in Gstaad on Sunday.

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