Jared Donaldson and Roberto Bautista Agut met in the opening round of the Western and Southern Open. Both men were looking to follow up their solid runs at the Rogers Cup with the American making the third round, and the Spaniard making the quarterfinals. It was the American who took the match in straight sets 7-6(5), 6-3.
Donaldson Snags Opener
It was the American who struck first blood in the opening service game, breaking at 30. Donaldson was forced to save three break points in his next service game before holding for 2-0. It wasn’t too long before Bautista Agut to break back for three-all at love after the 20-year-old dumped a shot into the net.
Both men would hold serve for the rest of the way until a tiebreak ensued. Donaldson was out fast with the mini-break after the Spaniard hit a floating ball from Donaldson well wide. He made it a double mini-break lead. Donaldson won two more points to earn five set points. However, Bautista Agut was not going down without a fight, winning four straight points. Serving down 5-6 to level the breaker, the Spaniard double-faulted to give Donaldson the opening set 7-6(5).
Donaldson Overcomes Break Deficit To Take Match
Bautista Agut opened the second set with how Donaldson opened the match, breaking serve. The American hit a slice backhand long and will be upset after being up 40-30. The 29-year-old consolidated his break for a 2-0 lead. The 20-year-old held for 1-2. Both men held serve a couple more times, but this second set felt like a reverse deja vu as Donaldson broke for three-all on a Bautista Agut error.
After holding for 4-3, Donaldson once again had break points. It looked like the Spaniard had control of the point at 15-40, but the American turned it around and forced an error from the Spaniard to go up 5-3 and serve for the match. It wasn't long for the 20-year-old to close out the match. He held at love to close out the match to advance to the second round.
Opportunity For Donaldson
Donaldson will face lucky loser Ramkumar Ramanathan in the next round. This could be the young American's chance to make his first career quarterfinal. Should he get past the Indian, he'll face the winner lucky loser Christian Harrison or the winner of Nikoloz Bashilasvili and Borna Coric.
Donaldson Speaks To The Press
After his win, Donaldson was asked how he was feeling because he's been having a solid year. He said that he's been playing solid tennis but that matches have come down to his well he's hitting his first serve. He added that he's been returning well and playing solid defense, but that matches are going to come down to how he's serving.