Former player Tomas Carbonell has been friends with Roberto Bautista Agut for years. Speaking with Mundo Deportivo, Carbonell admitted the Castellon de la Plana native was not very talented for people at the start. "You could not notice him that much because he was not really among the good (players).
But I liked him, I saw something different. His quality was not as notable as Nadal, Zverev and Sinner. I was seeing something special, unborn for tennis. He deserved all the success he is getting. At the start, he struggled because of many factors.
At 18, he was not among the big talents. At 20, very few people were telling you he would crack the top 100 rankings. I was speaking with him and his parents and I encouraged them to continue. A series of factors were playing against him when he turned professional.
He was not winning a match, for the pressure of making a breakthrough and the worry of how his family would economically deal with it making a big sacrifice and results were not coming. He was not that well-adviced. He thought about retiring but there were changes.
He is not a born server and he needs to do everything perfectly to make it work." On what made Bautista Agut play singles on Sunday just some days after his father died, Carbonell died: "His mentality changed when he was told Pablo Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers were injured.
People needed them and he committed to play. He likes being humble but he is also a competitive animal when he heads into the court," he concluded.