Bautista Agut slams decision to close roof during Djokovic clash

Bautista Agut was 4-5 in the second set against Novak Djokovic when the roof was closed over the Louis Armstrong Stadium

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Roberto Bautista Agut hit out at the organisers’ decision to shut the roof during the second set of his semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic at the Western & Southern Open on Friday.

Having won the first set, the Spaniard about to serve at 4-5 in the second when the organisers decided to close the roof on the Louis Armstrong Stadium during the changeover, as they were expecting rain.

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Bautista Agut lost the game and went on to lose the match 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(0).

“Everybody knows that they could wait a little bit, no? It was an unfortunate decision,” said the 32-year-old Bautista Agut, who has beaten Djokovic the last two times they have played.

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“It’s not the first time I disagree with Lars Graff (ATP supervisor). I think it was not great and it was 100% wrong.

“I totally disagree with the decision he took, and for sure it was not great because he broke my rhythm. So the roof break could wait a little bit to finish the set because to close the roof, it’s five minutes.”

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The Spaniard has beaten some big talents in this tournament. After taking out Richard Gasquet in the second round, he defeated Next Gen stars Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev to make the last four.

World No 1 Djokovic, meanwhile, has been far from his best as he’s coping with a neck strain. Djokovic needed on-court treatment during the semi-final as well.

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Bautista Agut came within two points of snapping Djokovic’s unbeaten streak (22 wins) this year, when serving for the match at 6-5 in the decider, but couldn’t get over the finish line. But his performances at the relocated Cincinnati Masters may give him the mental push needed ahead of the US Open.

“I played really good matches this week, and I was serving for the match against the No. 1,” Bautista Agut, ranked 12 in the world, said..

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Djokovic, who looked physically uncomfortable on court on Friday, did not come for the post-match press conference as he wasn’t feeling well.