Roberto Bautista Agut recently shared his thoughts on Roger Federer's comeback to the tour from a year-long layoff. The World No. 12 also touched upon how Federer being in sight again, along with his arch-rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, was good for tennis' global appeal.
Speaking to Spanish sports daily AS Diario, Bautista Agut was asked what he expected from Roger Federer in his comeback. In response, the Spaniard claimed that Federer always has a lot of hopes riding on his shoulders whenever he takes the court, and that that can only be a good thing for the sport.
"There are a lot of expectations on him when he plays," Roberto Bautista Agut said. "It's very good for tennis to have him back."
"(Hope) that he can compete as long as possible because Roger, Rafa and Novak make tennis more popular and important," the Spaniard continued. "They are global icons."
Roger Federer and other top players not playing Miami is good for the players who entered the draw: Roberto Bautista Agut
Roger Federer's comeback in Doha earlier this month didn't quite go the way his fans would have hoped. The Swiss maestro won his first match (against Dan Evans) in three sets, but ended up bowing out to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarters.
Federer subsequently withdrew from the Dubai Tennis Championships and the Miami Open, citing the need to do more physical conditioning work in preparation for Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem followed Roger Federer in withdrawing from Miami, leaving the Masters 1000 tournament without its four biggest male stars. But when asked to weigh in on the withdrawals of the Big 3 and Thiem from the hardcourt event, Roberto Bautista Agut insisted that their absence was good for him and the rest of the field.
"The Big 3 plus Thiem will not play in Miami, which is good for us players who instead entered the draw,"Bautista Agut quipped. "Even if tennis is a very balanced sport and anyone can beat you."