Novak Djokovic looks to book his place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday afternoon, taking on 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut. He is 7-2 against the Spaniard but one of those losses did come at the beginning of the season in Doha.
Bautista Agut started the season strongly with nine straight wins but has faded a little bit since then, suffering losses to the likes of Yoshihito Nishioka and Marton Fucsovics at recent tournaments. He made it to this point with wins over Janko Tipsarevic and Fabio Fognini, two opponents that are far from frightening.
Djokovic was from inspiring in his last match, needing three sets to eventually advance against Federico Delbonis. While the 3rd set of the 7-5 4-6 6-1 win was never in doubt, the manner of his performances in the first two sets must raise a little concern. He led 5-2 in the first and 3-1 in the second set before falling apart in both. “To be honest, I lost my focus. I should have done better I think mentally than I have done end of first set and also end of second set.” he said. “I think last four games have been terrific, so I ended up in a positive way.”
“He is one of those players that make you work very hard for every single point. He doesn’t make mistakes. Just runs around the court.” Djokovic said on his opponent. The Spaniard will take a lot of heart from his Doha win but Djokovic will be out to prove that his relatively disappointing performances are not here to stay.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets