Part of the so-called Spanish Armada of tennis players, Roberto Bautista Agut is one of eleven Spaniards in the ATP Top 100. However, unlike most of his countrymen, Bautista Agut’s hard, flat groundstrokes translate well to all surfaces, especially hard courts. In fact, Bautista Agut may just be one of the few Spaniards where clay his least successful surface.
Enjoying a breakthrough year in 2014, Bautista Agut won his first ATP title on the slick grass of s-Hertogenbosch. He would follow that up with another title weeks later, this time on the clay of Stuttgart. Those two wins would help propel the Spaniard from world no. 73 at the start of the year, all the way to no. 15, earning him the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year Award for 2014.
Since then, Bautista Agut has been a constant fixture in the Top 30, making six more Tour finals, all on hard courts, including two titles just weeks apart at the beginning of 2016, in Auckland and Sofia.
“I think in tennis you play two months well and then you get good results, and then two months you lose in quarters or semis and nobody hears nothing about you, and then you win two tournaments and everybody starts talking about you,” he said soon after winning the Sofia Open. “I’m the same person. I did the same work last year than this year. It’s just the continue of the work of these years.”
At the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Roberto continues to build on solid summer hard court results, reaching the quarterfinals at the Olympics, the finals of Winston-Salem, and the semifinals of St. Petersburg.
“I’m feeling great. I hope to continue like this,” he said after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the third time in 2016. “I think I can play my game everywhere. I had good results on every surface. I feel well everywhere, no? But this week I’m feeling good with the court, with the balls, with the conditions.”
And more ominously for his next opponent: “I think I’m playing one of my best tennis here. If I do my things well, I can make in trouble every player, no?”