Roberto Bautista Agut and Richard Gasquet clash for the fourth time this season when they pair square off for a place in the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals in Basel on Thursday.
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World No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut continues his push for a debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in London when he comes up against former top 10 star Richard Gasquet for a spot in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Thursday.
Bautista Agut has put together a career-best season in 2019 and has put himself in a strong position to qualify for the ATP Finals as a result – but he will need a big week in Basel and a deep run at the Paris Masters in order to stamp his ticket, with the Spaniard jostling with the likes of Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils and Stan Wawrinka for one of the last two spots. Bautista Agut is currently in ninth place behind Zverev and Berrettini – and he can come to within 40 points of the Italian if he can make the Basel quarter-finals on Thursday (Berrettini is currently in the quarter-finals of Vienna).
The Spaniard has made the quarter-finals in his only two previous appearances at the Swiss Indoors in 2017 and 2018, losing to Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev respectively. Bautista Agut was handed a tough opening round draw against last year’s surprise runner-up Marius Copil, but he played a smart match, withstanding 16 aces from the big-serving Romanian to prevail by a 6-4 7-5 scoreline, saving the one break point he faced and converting two of the 11 break chances he created on Copil’s delivery.
Bautista Agut has been an extremely consistent performer on the ATP World Tour for going on six years now, hitting his previous career-high ranking of No. 13 in 2016 after beating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to make his first Masters 1000 final in Shanghai, which was his most significant result before this season. Indeed, Bautista Agut has taken his game to another level in 2019, beating Djokovic twice in the first quarter of the season as he won the title in Doha and made the Miami Masters quarter-finals, while he’s also broke new ground at Grand Slam level, reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and semi-finals at Wimbledon, all of which contributed to him cracking the top 10 for the first time in August.
A place at the ATP Finals would be thoroughly deserved, but Bautista Agut still has a lot of work to do in order to secure it. Can he keep in touch with the top eight by making the quarter-finals in Basel on Thursday?
Richard Gasquet (PA Images)
Richard Gasquet is the man who stands in his way. The Frenchman has a 11-6 record at the Swiss Indoors, making the semi-finals in 2012 and 2015 and quarter-finals in 2009 and 2010, while his last appearance at the tournament before this week resulted in an opening round defeat to Guido Pella in 2016. Gasquet has cleared that hurdle this time, coming up against another Argentine as he cruised past Juan Ignacio Londero by a 6-1 7-6(4) scoreline.
One of the world’s most prodigious talents in the early 2000s, there’s been no Grand Slams or Masters 1000 titles, but the majority of professional tennis players would take Gasquet’s career in a heartbeat, with the Frenchman rising to a career-high No. 7 in the world in 2007, winning a total of 15 ATP World Tour titles and making three Grand Slam semi-finals. Persistent back injuries have seen Gasquet take a tumble down the rankings over the last few years, including in 2019, where he is 16-16 for the season after starting the year in Madrid. Gasquet’s best result of the season was a surprise run to the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals, where he beat Andy Murray in the first match of his comeback, and also Bautista Agut, but he came into Basel on a four-match losing streak.
Bautista Agut leads their head-to-head 4-2, but as mentioned, Gasquet won their last clash in three sets in Cincinnati. Bautista Agut had won their last three meetings before that in straight sets, and with so much to play for this week, it would be a poor defeat if the Spaniard didn’t come out on top in Basel.
Bautista Agut vs Gasquet ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips – London hopeful Bautista Agut targets third straight Basel quarter-final
Roberto Bautista Agut and Richard Gasquet clash for the fourth time this season when they pair square off for a…
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