Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut beat former champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday to win the ATP Tour's ASB Classic for the second time in three years. "I hope I can play even better than tonight", del Potro said.
A star attraction at this year's Classic, world No.12 del Potro was scheduled for night matches on each day and felt unprepared for his afternoon final.
Bautista Agut booked his spot in the Classic final with a 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) win over the journeyman Haase, battling from beginning to end.
Del Potro had said beforehand he expected Bautista Agut would target his inconsistent backhand, but the Spaniard was also prepared to attack the forehand court when the opportunity presented itself.
"I'm exhausted", Del Potro said in a court-side interview.
There, both players held easily in the first 10 games, hitting some powerful forehand winners like that one that kept Roberto in the match in the 10th game when he served to prolong the final.
He secured the second set 6-4 but couldn't find a way past the consistent Bautista Agut in the decider, falling 7-5 and losing in just over two hours. "I tried to have Juan Martin moving around the court". I think the crowd enjoyed the game.
Roberto did nothing wrong in the first 8 games either, dropping just 4 points on serve in the opening 4 games, and he served to stay in the set in game 10. He dropped serve in the next game, immediately broke back but lost his serve again in the fourth game to give Bautista a 3-1 lead.
It was all about the Spaniard in the rest of the set, he held at 15 in game 5 with some stunning forehands and he cracked another victor from that wing to break Delpo once again, moving a game away from the opening set. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.