February 17, 2022

Bautista Agut cruises to emphatic win over Murray as Shapovalov advances

Second seed Roberto Bautista Agut cruised to a 6-, 6-1 win over Andy Murray in their last 16 match of the 2022 Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday.

At the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, the Spaniard produced a dominant performance to trounce the British wild card to reach the quarter-finals In Doha.

In a meeting of two former Doha champions, Bautista Agut the 2019 winner dropped only one game to Murray, who won two back-to-back Qatar titles way back in 2008 and 2009.

The former world number one had gone into the tournament looking to win his first singles title since 2019 but struggled to find his serving range against Bautista Agut and in the end suffered one of the heaviest losses of his career.

Murray lost the first set without winning a single game, the first time since 2015 with Bautista Agut calling the shots all the way.
The World No 17, who had earned a bye to the second round conceded only eight points in the first set, including just three on Murray’s serve.
The three-time Grand Slam winner was expected to put up a fight in the second after holding his serve in the initial stage of the set but the initial euphoria of a fight back vanished into thick air with the Spaniard racing clear to convert two further break points and seal the win in a little over an hour.

The Spaniard will now be looking for his tenth career title and will next face either Dan Evans or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last eight.
Also through to the last eight are fellow top-four seeds Denis Shapovalov, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marin Cilic.

Shapovalov overcame a slower start to eventually cruise past Alex Molcan.
The Canadian dropped just eight points on serve in eight service games en route to a 6-4, 6-0 win over the World No. 73 Slovak in just 52 minutes.

It was a strong response from the 22-year-old, who last week suffered an upset straight-sets defeat to fast-rising Czech Jiri Lehecka in Rotterdam.

In the quarter-finals, Shapovalov, who had a first-round bye, will meet Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who enjoyed a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 win over seventh-seeded Kazah Alexander Bublik.
Defending champion Basilashvili and Cilic similarly progressed to the next round with straight sets wins. Basilashvili defeated Elias Ymer 6-4, 7-5, while Botic van de Zandschulp lost to Cilic 6-3, 7-5.

Marton Fucsovics also booked a place in the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win over Soonwoo Kwon.