Fixture: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Date: 22 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: 10.30 am CEST, 2 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Nikoloz Basilashvili preview
World No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut will return to action for the first time since the US Open as he faces defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili at the 2020 Hamburg Open on Tuesday.
The Spaniard didn't play the Italian Open, opting out of the Masters 1000 tournament to rest after a tiresome North American hardcourt swing campaign. Bautista Agut beat World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev en route a semifinal appearance at the Cincinnati Masters, where he lost a controversial three-set match to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Bautista Agut seemed to have fine-tuned his preparations well for the 2020 US Open, which was played at the same venue as the Cincinnati Masters. However, the Spaniard suffered a shock defeat to Vasek Pospisil in the third round, in what was an anticlimax to his time at Flushing Meadows.
The World No. 10 will be expected to do better in Hamburg, as he takes on the 2018 and 2019 Hamburg Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Georgian has been in a major slump since last year, having lost 12 of his last 15 matches on the tour.
Basilashvili has also failed to win a single set in his last four matches, the most recent of which was a straight set beatdown in the first round of the 2020 Rome Masters.
However, it is to be noted that the World No. 32 had plummeted downhill in similar fashion last year prior to the ATP 500 event at Hamburg. Basilashvili would then go on to reinvigorate himself, as he beat Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev on his way to winning the title.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Nikoloz Basilashvili head-to-head
Roberto Bautista Agut leads Nikoloz Basilashvili by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. Their only encounter was in the first round of the 2017 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, where Bautista Agut beat Basilashvili in three sets.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Nikoloz Basilashvili prediction
Bautista Agut has been producing some strong results lately with a more aggressive game, where he consistently asserts his position on the court with his deep forehand. But the Spaniard has never been able to find much success on clay, presumably because his groundstrokes don't generate enough pace on slower surfaces.
Basilashvili does not have a style of play that suits clay either, with his bludgeoning shots from both wings. The Georgian likes to drive through his strokes without much spin, and while this risky tactic has paid off for him in his last two runs to the title in Hamburg, it is not a foolproof recipe for success.
If Basilashvili's baseline game is not on the money, he might find himself drawn into errors by Bautista Agut.
Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut to win in straight sets.Published 21 Sep 2020, 18:19 IST