Not a catastrophe, but certainly cause for concern for team Djokovic as the Serb heads Down Under for the opening Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.In Friday's late-evening semifinals at the picture flawless Khalifa International Complex, Djokovic's challenge, which appeared well on course for a setand-a-half, came apart at the wheels as he crashed to a 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 4-6 loss in 2 hours and 35-minutes.
It is the second time Bautista Agut has beaten Djokovic in his career and both victories occurred in a semifinal.
Agut, ranked 24, took the second-set tie-break on his fifth set point and then broke in the opening game of the decider, eventually sealing victory in two hours and 35 minutes.
It was only a second win over the Serbian for Bautista Agut - his first coming in 2016 - and it will live long in the Spaniard's memory.
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In the other semifinal, Tomas Berdych, a victor over Pierre-Hugues Herbert, continues his comeback against French Open semifinalist and No. 4 seed Marco Cecchinato.
Bautista Agut awaits the victor of Tomas Berdych and Marco Cecchinato.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his quarter final match against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha January 3, 2019.
"I work very hard to play tennis like this". Those were the Swede's last chances. "But this is what I was looking forward to getting from this tournament, as many matches as possible, to get ready for the Australian Open".
On serve there was little the Spaniard could do to unsettle his opponent, Bautista Agut only managing to take six points off Djokovic as the Serbian sealed the set easily. It ended in a straight-sets defeat. Novak was up and it was really tough. He was solid and I had to play good tennis. "He has a very physical style of Tennis which obviously is putting a lot of load and pressure on his joints, on his knees". The Serbian has been nearly unbeatable on hard courts over the last six months, but Bautista-Agut trumped him in a tactical masterclass.