It’s an all-Spanish showdown in the second round of Rotterdam on Wednesday as sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Pablo Carreno Busta.
Roberto Bautista Agut ?? vs Pablo Carreno Busta ?? Match Info
Date: Wednesday February 12
Tournament: ATP Rotterdam 500, R2
Court: Court 1
Time: 2.00pm local time (1.00pm GMT)
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Pablo Carreno Busta Head-to-Head
Bautista Agut leads 2-1
2017 | Rome R32 | Bautista Agut 6-7(6) 6-1 6-4
2016 | Winston-Salem Final | Carreno Busta 6-7(6) 7-6(1) 6-4
2015 | US Open R64 | Bautista Agut 4-6 6-4 6-0 2-6 6-4
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Pablo Carreno Busta Match Preview
ATP Cup and Davis Cup teammates Bautista Agut and Carreno Busta clash for the first time in three years with a spot in the Rotterdam quarter-finals up for grabs on Wednesday.
Bautista Agut is playing in Rotterdam for the first time since 2016, where he made the quarter-finals before going down to Martin Klizan. The only other time the Spaniard has competed in Rotterdam was in 2015 as he lost in the second round to Gael Monfils.
Bautista Agut traditionally starts each season strongly – in fact, he has an incredible 37-7 record in January since 2016, winning titles in Auckland in 2016 and 2018, Chennai in 2017 and Doha in 2019, where he beat the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic. Bautista Agut also made the Australian Open quarter-finals last year and went 6-0 in ATP Cup matches for Spain last month, earning more ranking points than he would with an ATP 250 title (295 points).
2019 ended up being the best season of Bautista Agut’s career. After 275 consecutive weeks in the top 30, the 31-year-old broke into the top 10 for the first time after reaching his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon. In addition to beating Djokovic en route to the Doha title, Bautista Agut also defeated the Serbian to make the Miami Masters quarter-finals, while he was also a quarter-finalist in Montreal and Cincinnati. Bautista Agut peaked at No. 9 in the world and posted 40+ wins for the fifth time in six years – can he put together a similar season in 2020?
After his flawless ATP Cup campaign for Spain, Bautista Agut failed to defend his Australian Open quarter-final points, losing to Marin Cilic in five sets in the third round, causing him to slip to No. 12 in the world. The Spaniard got his Rotterdam campaign off to a good start, beating the in-form Marton Fucsovics in three sets in the opening round.
Meanwhile, Carreno Busta – a former top 10 player himself – is playing in Rotterdam for the first time this week, claiming his maiden win at the tournament in the first round as he overcame Adrian Mannarino in three sets.
Carreno Busta’s career-best season came in 2017 when he made the U.S. Open semi-finals, the French Open quarter-finals, won the Estoril title and made the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals, and although he’s remained around the 20-30 mark for much of the last two seasons (he did fall to No. 69 in August last year though), he hasn’t come close to replicating that season again. The 28-year-old won his first title since 2017 last year in Chengdu and reached three semi-finals in Antalya, Hamburg and Stockholm to elevate his year-end ranking into the top 30.
Carreno Busta is currently 4-3 for 2020, reaching the quarter-finals of Adelaide and the third round of the Australian Open, while he lost in the opening round of Montpellier last week to Norbert Gombos.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Pablo Carreno Busta Prediction
All of their previous matches have gone the distance and there’s a good chance this one in Rotterdam will as well. Bautista Agut, for me, is just a little bit better at everything Carreno Busta does, and when you consider he usually plays his best tennis around this stage of the season, the Spaniard should be able to grind this one out.