Bautista topples Djokovic, will face Berdych in Qatar final
07 January, 2019, 07:00 | Author: Isabel Grant
For the second day running, the Serbian fought his way back after losing the opening set, this time to Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, before going through 4-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a last-four showdown with seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Wimbledon champion, twice a victor of the event, lost 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
ASB Classic defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut will arrive in Auckland in hot touch, after claiming the Qatar Open title on Sunday (NZ time).
Novak Djokovic can now exclusively focus on the singles tournament and a semi-final clash with Bautista Agut, who defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-4 and is still yet to drop a set at the tournament.
In the deciding set, Bautista Agut built a 4-1 lead but Berdych had two break points that would have reduced the deficit to one game.
"It's been a fantastic week for me", Bautista Agut, who endured some nervy moments in the decider, said.
The last semi-final spot went to Italy's Marco Cecchinato who beat Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 7-6 (7/2), 6-2.
Bautista Agut awaits the victor of Tomas Berdych and Marco Cecchinato. The World No.1 was part of the singles and doubles draws here, playing alongside younger brother Marko.The Djokovics - Novak and 27-year-old Marko lost in the semifinals to the Belgian-French combine of David Goffin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
It was the 30-year-old's ninth career title and his first in Doha.
"I wasn't the freshest, you know".
That game he eventually lost, but asked if he was playing too much, Djokovic simply said: "I'm fine, I'll be fine".
Defeat meant Djokovic, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open a year ago in a spectacular return to form after elbow surgery, missed the chance to reach his sixth straight final.
This makes him a unsafe opponent for Djokovic, although it should be pointed out that their other three meetings on hard courts have all ended in favour of the Serbian.
In total, Bautista Agut only lost two sets all week in his five matches.
The other semi-final will be contested between Kevin Anderson, who overcame Jaume Munar in straight sets, and Gilles Simon after the Frenchman came from a set down to beat Benoit Paire. Novak was up and it was tough.
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