Bautista-Agut tops Pouille in Dubai final

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Dubai, March 4 (IANS) Third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to win his second title of 2018 and the biggest of his career.

The 23rd-ranked Bautista-Agut’s victory at this ATP World Tour 500 series event on Saturday comes less than two months after he won an Australian Open tune-up tournament in Auckland.

The 29-year-old Spaniard needed 80 minutes to improve his career record against Pouille to 3-1 and clinch his eighth career title. The other seven came at 250-level tournaments.

With his loss in the final, the 15th-ranked Pouille missed an opportunity to enter the top 10 of the ATP rankings for the first time.

Bautista-Agut grabbed an early break of serve in the first set and made it stand up, fending off the lone break point he faced in the fifth game.

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The second-seeded Pouille appeared to turn the tide when he broke Bautista-Agut’s serve to take a 3-1 lead in the second set, but the Spaniard won five of the last six games to seal the win.

–IANS

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