Third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain defeated second seed Lucas Pouille to win the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.
Bautista Agut needed 83 minutes to defeat Frenchman Pouille 6-3, 6-4 dropping only one set all week on the way to claiming his second title of the year.
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) March 3, 2018
The 29-year-old Spaniard claimed a winners purse of $565,530 and 500 ATP Rankings points, which will propel him to World No.16 on Monday when the rankings are released.
Overall Bautista Agut always seemed to have the edge by bossing the points and keeping the ball away from Pouille’s big weapon, his forehand by mixing it up with great depth and changes in direction.
In the opening set, the only break happened in the fourth game when Bautista Agut claimed his opponents serve on the fourth break point.
In the next game, the Spaniard saved a break point and eventually went on to win the set 6-3.
Pouille looked to be in charge early on in the second set when he broke serve to lead 3-1, but that lead was short-lived as he then dropped serve in the fifth and ninth games. The third seed then served out the match, winning it 6-4.
In an interview after his victory, Bautista Agut said he felt like he had played very well and was extremely happy with how things went on the night.
“I played very well, very aggressively,” Bautista Agut said. “I didn’t give him all the court, all the control of the game. I played very good tennis tonight.”
“That means a lot, to win this trophy,” he added. “I think the past winners [in Dubai] are the best tennis players in the era. That makes me so happy.”
Pouille gave his opponent credit, saying he played well when needed on the big points. “I think he played some great tennis tonight. Even if I think I had some opportunities, especially in the second set where I got the break, 3-1 up, I couldn’t conserve it,” Pouille admitted.
“I think he was very solid, played some great tennis when he had to.”