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Cincinnati 2020: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet preview, head-to-head & prediction | Western & Southern Open

Roberto Bautista Agut at the 2019 Western & Southern Open
Roberto Bautista Agut at the 2019 Western & Southern Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 24 Aug 2020
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Match details

Fixture: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet

Date: 24 August 2020

Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020

Round: Round of 32

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $4,674,780

Match timing: 3 pm EDT, 12.30 am IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2

Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet preview

Richard Gasquet at the 2019 Rogers Cup
Richard Gasquet at the 2019 Rogers Cup

World No. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut is set to restart his 2020 season against Richard Gasquet, in the second round of the Western and Southern Open on Monday.

The Spaniard comes into the Cincinnati Masters at one of the highest ranking places in his career, following a good run in 2019. He reached his first Grand Slam semifinal last year at Wimbledon, and also broke into the top 10.

However, Bautista Agut's form in 2020 has been questionable. He hasn't made it past the fourth round in any tournament this year, although he did register a couple of good wins at the Australian Open.

During the lockdown, Bautista Agut participated in Dominic Thiem's invitational event 'Thiem's 7', the Bett1Aces International exhibition, and also the Region of Valencia Tennis challenge in Spain. He won five out of the 11 matches he played.

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Roberto Bautista Agut's opponent, World No. 50 Richard Gasquet, is a veteran of the game. The Frenchman comes into the match on the back of an impressive straight-sets win over American JJ Wolf.

Gasquet has slipped down the rankings in the recent past due to injuries, and has had a relatively poor run on the tour over the last few years. Moreover, he was completely inactive during the pandemic; the match against Wolf was his first in over six months.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet head-to-head

Roberto Bautista Agut at the 2020 ATP Cup
Roberto Bautista Agut at the 2020 ATP Cup

Being two experienced players on the tour, Roberto Bautista Agut and Richard Gasquet have unsurprisingly played each other quite a few times in the past. The meeting at the Western and Southern Open is the eighth between the two, with Bautista Agut leading the head-to-head 5-2 over Gasquet.

The pair met four times just last year, with their latest match having come in the Round of 16 at the Basel Indoors. Bautista Agut prevailed in straight sets there.

Before that, at the Cincinnati Masters itself, Richard Gasquet defeated the Spaniard in a tightly-fought quarterfinal 7-6, 3-6, 6-2.

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Bautista Agut beat the World No. 50 in the other two meetings in 2019 - in the Round of 16 at both the Toronto Masters and the Halle Open.

2015, both players won one match each against each other. Gasquet prevailed at the Dubai Open in three sets, and Buatista Agut won in straight sets at Tokyo. The Spaniard also won their first meeting on the tour - in the second round of the 2014 Paris Masters - by the scoreline of 6-4, 6-2.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet prediction

Richard Gasquet at the 2016 French Openx
Richard Gasquet at the 2016 French Openx

Given their previous history, their respective rankings and Richard Gasquet's injury woes, Roberto Bautista Agut should be coming into this match as the favorite. But with the Frenchman getting off to an impressive start, coupled with the poor 2020 form of Bautista Agut, an upset could very well be on the cards.

Gasquet will approach the game in his trademark counterpunching style, which Bautist Agut should be used to. With the Frenchman in good form with his return, he will look to catch the Spaniard out on any poor serves.

Both players have exceptionally consistent groundstrokes, and that could help create some electrifying crosscourt rallies.

Prediction: Richard Gasquet to win in three sets.

Published 24 Aug 2020, 14:30 IST
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