Agut subdues Medvedev to begin 2017 with Chennai Open title

Chennai, Jan 8:
Roberto Bautista Agut captured his fifth ATP singles title to deny Danill Medvedev his maiden one at this level as the World number 14 subdued the young Russian 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Chennai Open here today.
Agut remained solid from the baseline while Medvedev paid the price for little mistakes against his superior opponent, who kept his strokes and emotions under control.
Medvedev’s serve was always under pressure and in contrast the Spaniard served out his games comfortably, losing only eight points in the one hour 11 minutes match. The Russian managed to engage Agut in long rallies, especially in the second set, but the Spaniard mostly found a way to finish the points.
Nevertheless, the 20-year-old Medvedev, playing in his maiden ATP final, made a good impression with his all-round game and will jump a good number of places from his current 99th rank.
It was the second time that Agut was playing a final at the Chennai Open, having ended runner-up to Janko Tipsarevic in 2013 at the Nungambakkam Stadium.
Last year, Agut had won two of his four titles in Auckland and Sofia. He had claimed two victories (Stuttgart and s-Hetrogenbosch) in 2014.
“It was very good level of tennis. He had good strokes from the baseline but I was solid and could play aggressive when I needed. I have become better player with experience,” Agut said.
The Spaniard was realistic with his assessment of his game and looked ahead to the season.
“I want to play in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slams this year. I will definitely try to be in top-10 but it will be very difficult,” he said.
The Spaniard said Medvedev has a great future.
“He is tall and has good serve. He moves well. He is already good and can be better.”
Agut said the court has become a bit faster here over the years.
Medvedev had started well, serving at love his first service game but lost the next after a few unforced errors put him down by three breakpoints. He netted a backhand after a double fault in the fourth game.
He saved the first two but netted a return on the third with Agut setting it up nicely by attacking the net.
The Spaniard held his own for a commanding 4-1 lead against the Russian. There was no break of serve after that and the Spaniard served out the set in the ninth.
Medvedev played better in the second set but still was unable to put pressure on Agut’s service games. The only time the Russian pushed Agut a bit was in the fourth game when the Spaniard saved the game from deuce point.
Medvedev also received a medical timeout after the seventh game due to an issue with his right hamstring.
Serving at 4-4, the Russian began with a double fault, sent a forehand long and again sent down a double fault to be down by a breakpoint, which Agut converted with a backhand winner.
The Spaniard was now serving for the championship and he did it with ease with Medvedev sending a return long on first match point. PTI