Roberto Bautista Agur will play the St. Petersburg Open for the first time in three years, a tournament where he has been very regular in the past, reaching at least the quarterfinals in his six appearances. In the debut he will have to deal in the second round with the winner of the duel between the American Mackenzie McDonald and a player from the qualifying phase.
But beyond the result, the No. 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings is looking for better feelings than a few months ago. "After the US Open (l. With Auger-Aliassime in the 3rd round), I decided to stop for a month due to some discomfort in my elbow, to come back and end the year enjoying it," reflects the Spaniard for ATPTour.com.
"My only interest for the rest of the season is to compete 100%." In his first tournament since the US Open, Bautista Agut lost his debut in Antwerp last week (l. To Fucsovics). But his goals remain firm despite that result.
“My motivation is to try to finish the year well, to give everything on the track, to come out calm of having given everything,” reflects the 33-year-old right-hander. "I have the same illusion as years ago of being a better player and of taking on the court what I try to promote in training."
Part of the peace of mind lies in his footwork, his weapon that he continued to sharpen during the month that he did not compete and that he still “can't complain” about. Not even when the results don't happen.
“My legs and my footwork are one of my strengths. I'm not six feet tall, but I do have this virtue. It is the product of a lot of dedication and work”. Bautista Agur will be one of the four Spaniards who will play the ATP 250 in Russia.
The COVID-19 health restrictions recently announced by Australia have thrown Novak Djokovic's participation at the 2022 Australian Open into doubt.
Pereira talks about Djokovic
Former World No. 74 Nicolas Pereira also chimed in with his two cents on the matter, while speaking alongside Tracy Austin on Tennis Channel.
Pereira asserted that getting vaccinated is a "personal decision", before pointing out that Novak Djokovic rarely makes a hasty decision when it concerns his health. "Well, it's a very personal decision and we know how Novak Djokovic feels about his health.
He's been very picky and it's paid off for him," Nicolas Pereira said. "But having won nine times in Australia, (you) would think this is the one he would want to play." Tracy Austin recently opined that Novak Djokovic would give more importance to his vaccination status than the Grand Slam race at next year's Australian Open.
"For me? I don't know (if we will see Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Australian Open)," Tracy Austin added. "I mean you've got to get the jab to go over there apparently and he says he doesn't want to tell us whether he's gotten the jab. And it seems like to me, if you're not telling us then he probably hasn't."