Roberto Bautista Agut Triumphs in a Grueling Battle
Roberto Bautista Agut fought until the very last point to secure his spot in the second round of the Sofia Open. The Castellón native emerged victorious in a marathon clash against Miomir Kecmanovic, prevailing 7-6(9), 6-7(2), 7-6(5) after an intense three hours and 16 minutes.
A Familiar Ground for Bautista Agut
“I am thrilled to be back in Sofia. I have fond memories and have played many memorable matches here,” reminisced Bautista Agut, who clinched the tournament title in 2016. He acknowledged the tough challenge posed by his opponent, describing Kecmanovic as a formidable player with great power and impressive shots.
Continuing the Winning Streak
The 35-year-old Spaniard notched his 17th victory of the season, out of 37 matches, against the 9th seed on the Bulgarian indoor hard court. His next test will be against Hungarian Fabian Marozsan, who defeated his compatriot Zsobor Piros 6-3, 6-1.
Seeking a Quarter-Final Berth
Bautista Agut is set to face Marozsan in their first-ever encounter in the Lexus ATP Head2Head. The Spaniard aims to secure his first ATP Tour quarter-final since June last year in Halle.
Albert Ramos-Viñolas Displays Grit in Sofia Open
Albert Ramos-Viñolas, known for his unwavering determination, faced a challenging debut at the Sofia Open. The Spaniard showcased his tenacity as he battled past compatriot Roberto Carballés Baena, prevailing 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 48 minutes of relentless effort on the Bulgarian indoor court.
A Testament to Improvement
Ramos-Viñolas’ victory marked a significant improvement, as it was only his second ATP Tour win on a hard indoor court in the past five seasons.
In a closely contested match where both players scored 96 points, Ramos-Viñolas utilized his experience to emerge victorious. With five breaks and an impressive 42% of points won on return, the Barcelona native secured his place in the round of 16.
A Formidable Challenge Ahead
Ramos-Viñolas now faces the second seed Adrian Mannarino, the reigning champion of the Sofia Open. Mannarino, with over 70 victories on indoor courts throughout his career, poses a formidable challenge for the Catalan player. Although Ramos-Viñolas holds a 5-4 advantage in their head-to-head history, Mannarino has emerged victorious in all four of their previous encounters on hard surfaces. This match will mark their first meeting on an indoor court.
Enduring for Success
Ramos-Viñolas aims to accumulate crucial points to secure a place in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the 13th consecutive season. His notable results in 2023 include reaching the final at the ATP 250 in Gstaad and the semifinals of the ATP 250 in Córdoba.
Note: ATP 250 Sofia has been granted a one-season license in 2023, replacing the canceled Tel Aviv Watergen Open due to the outbreak of war in the region.
Did you know…?
Albert Ramos-Viñolas aims to join the ranks of Spanish tennis players with ATP Tour indoor hard court titles. The Catalan, making his debut at the ATP 250 in Sofia, seeks to follow in the footsteps of his compatriots Rafael Nadal, Feliciano López, Fernando Verdasco, Pablo Carreño, and Roberto Bautista Agut.