10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut will face the dangerous American qualifier Tommy Paul in the first round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Tuesday, May 11. Get the live streaming options of this Roberto Bautista Agut v Tommy Paul match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Roberto Bautista Agut v Tommy Paul Head to Head
Bautista Agut leads 1-0, winning the only match before this in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters last month.
Bautista Agut Underwhelming on Clay so far
By his own lofty standards, Roberto Bautista Agut is yet to kick on, on European clay. So far in 2021, his results in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid haven’t quite mirrored his outstandingly positive results on hardcourts.
With two runner-up finishes in Montpellier and Doha and a semifinal in Miami, he rounded off a fantastic first quarter despite his failure to end his title drought which extends to its second year.
And if his record on clay is anything to go by, Rome could yet prove to be another stumble. In his five previous visits, the Spaniard has only progressed past the second round on one occasion (2017), where he reached the third before losing to Novak Djokovic.
His three defeats in the aforementioned clay tournaments this year have come against players without a penchant for the surface. Andrey Rublev at the Principality could be excusable, however, Sinner and Isner in subsequent matches stung harder.
Will he extend his winning sequence against Tommy Paul?
Paul Edges Monteiro in Qualifying
Tommy Paul kept Bautista Agut waiting as one of the last remaining slots of qualifying was yet to be determined. After beating Juan Ignacio Londero in the first round of qualifying, Paul then outlasted Brazilian left-hander Thiago Monteiro in two hours and 45 minutes.
The match itself shouldn’t have lasted that long given the American’s commanding 5-2 lead in the third set. And after Monteiro hauled himself back into the match, a tiebreaker decided it. Thankfully for Paul, he managed to compose himself and serve himself into the main draw of Rome for the first time.
Paul is yet to kick on, on the European clay. But that is partly due to the misfortune of drawing high-caliber opponents in the earlier rounds. In Monte Carlo, Bautista Agut stopped him, and most recently at the Madrid Masters, he came close to pull off an upset over Andrey Rublev before losing in three sets.
Can he stop the rot on Tuesday?
Bautista Agut v Paul Prediction and Tip
Paul has some searing pace on his forehand which should keep Bautista Agut on the hook. Their match in Monte Carlo was a close two-setter, and we reckon Paul could pinch a set against a rather out of sorts Bautista Agut.