Bautista-Agut vs. Vesely / ATP Auckland – The first Grand Slam of the season starts in just a couple of days, the Australian Open and many players do the final preparation at two Series 250 tournaments, played in Auckland and Sydney. Both tournaments have reached the quarter-finals and out of those matches we will analyse duel between R. Bautista-Agut and J. Vesely. J. Sock was last year’s winner of the tournament in Auckland, who defeated J. Sousa in the final match. Sock was first seed this season but his attempt to defend the title has ended in the second round when he lost to P. Gojowczyk. Begins: 11.01.2018 – 00:30 CET
Bautista-Agut is the fifth seed of tournament in Auckland. He defeated S. Johnson in the quarter-final after three sets. Johnson won the first set very easily but R. Bautista-Agut retaliated in next two sets and reached the quarter-finals after turning the result up-side down. The season didn’t start well for Bautista-Agut given that before Auckland he played at the tournament in Pune where was defeated by G. Simon in the second round.
The Spaniard came to Auckland as World’s no. 21, and he had the best rating in 2016 when he occupied solid 13th place in the ATP list. In 13 years of professional career Bautista-Agut won six ATP titles including two won last season at tournaments in Channai and Winston-Salem. Out of other results made last year we would single out only the quarter-finals of Masters in Montreal that he lost to R. Federer.
J. Vesely is one of those players from whom was expected to achieve much more in previous period given that he is relatively young player and typical product of Czech tennis system with very strong service. However, Vesely didn’t justified the expectations given that he won just one ATP title so far, which happened right at the tournament in Auckland 2015 when he defeated A. Mannarin in the final.
Like his today’s opponent Vesely also started the season at the tournament in Pune where he lost in the first round to R. Ojdea, who was then World’s no. 192. Before the tournament in Auckland Vesely was 64th in the ATP list, which is quite far from his best rating that he held in 2015 when he occupied the 35th place on the list of best players in the world. The Czech needed three uncertain sets to defeat S. Querry 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 and reach the quarter-finals.
R. Bautista-Agut – J. Vesely PICK
R. Bautista-Agut won all three so far played matches with J. Vesely. The last of them was played last season at the Roland Garros and the Spaniard won 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. According to all what we have said it is clear that Bautista-Agut is justifiably regarded as favourite to win the match. It is true that he didn’t start the season in the best possible way but we believe that the Spaniard is much better player at the moment who should reach the semi-finals even with smaller handicap in number of won games.
Pick: Bautista-Agut -4 games
Odds: 1.57 at betway (down to 1.54 can be played)