Novak Djokovic, top seed and world number one, will play Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-final of the 2019 ExxonMobil Qatar Open in Doha on Friday after both came through their quarter-final ties.
Watch & bet on Novak Djokovic v Roberto Bautista Agut live in the ATP Qatar Open with bet365 here* on Friday, January 4. The Djokovic v Bautista Agut semifinal will begin around 5:30 pm local time (2.30 pm GMT)
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Djokovic dropped a set for the second successive day, and was made to fight hard to overcome Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, the world number 21, eventually winning 6-4 in the third.
By contrast, Bautista Agut had a comparatively simple straight sets win over former Grand Slam champion Sam Wawrinka, beating the Swiss 6-4, 6-4.
Djokovic v Bautista Agut Head to Head
The pair have met on 8 previous occasions, with Djokovic currently holding a 7-1 lead in terms of matches won advantage. Their most recent encounter came at the French Open last year, when the Serb edged a four-set victory in a Round 32 match.
Is There Hope for Roberto Bautista Agut?
Despite that one-sided record in favour of Djokovic, encouragement for fans of the Spaniard may be drawn from the fact that the one win he has enjoyed over Djokovic came at the Shanghai Masters in 2016, when he beat the Serb in straight sets, a match that was played on a hard court, similar to the one in use in Qatar.
Unlike many Spanish players who tend to favour clay, Bautista Agut is more suited to hard courts like Doha because he is a counter attacking player who plays lower, flatter shots, and does not rely so much on bounce or spin.
This makes him a dangerous opponent for Djokovic, although it should be pointed out that their other three meetings on hard courts have all ended in favour of the Serbian.
Djokovic v Bautista Agut – Who will Win?
Bautista Agut, the world number 15, will be playing on his favourite surface and will come into the match buoyed by confidence after his victory over Wawrinka.
Djokovic has had to fight to get past his last two opponents in the tournament, but will still start as favourites to win the match. What should never be underestimated is his sheer will to win, and his ability to dig out a result, even when he is not playing at his best.