Arguably the biggest win in Bautista’s career. The 31-year-old Spaniard  trailed 3:4* (deuce) in the 2nd set when he won two long rallies to break back. Djokovic  destroyed his racquet afterwards; despite comfortable leading he didn’t enjoy the match from the start due to conditions (cool & windy evening). The Serb saved set points at 4:5 & 5:6, another set point in the tie-break, but ultimately lost it 6/8. In the 3rd set there was only one break point, in the opening game – Bautista converted it and looked after his five service games to force Djokovic’s FH error on the first match point. The match lasted 2 hours 35 minutes, Bautista won the title the following day against Berdych (returned to the circuit after 6-month break), extending his streak of years with January titles to four… Two months later in the Miami fourth round, Bautista defeats Djokovic after a similar encounter (1-6, 7-5, 6-3) holding service games thrice from break point down in the 2nd set, including a mini-MP.
Bautista’s route to his 9th title:
1 Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4
2 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-4
Q Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4
S Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4
W Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
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