Frustration boiled over for Novak Djokovic today in Shanghai as the world number one slipped up in straight sets against Roberto Bautista Agut who advanced to his first Masters final on Sunday. The week had been a struggle for Novak who just hasn’t been on his very best form since winning Roland Garros.
Multiple disagreements with the umpire, ripping shirts and smashing rackets all this in just a two set match. Watching Novak against Zverev in the previous round there didn’t seem to be that sharpeness and ruthlessness to his game which has been missing for a while now.
Dealing with pressure
One player you’d expect to deal with pressure well would be the world number one Novak Djokovic but it was Agut today who shone in Shanghai won so many important points at pressure moments. 0-30 down at 3-3, break point down a couple of games later and then comes up with a stunning pass to set up set point in set one which he went on to take.
Best returner in the game usually is Novak Djokovic. Didn’t feel that today seemed to be a bit flat-footed and late to react.
This serve from Agut set the tone pretty early on, it was the fastest serve but had good angle on it and Agut was quickly settled and in control of the rally just look at Novak’s positioning he’s floating mid-air!
Right arm and forehand!
Agut’s forehand was on fire. It was simply incredible from the Spaniard. Two examples I picked from the first set left Novak with no response and to do that consistently against Novak is special!
This one above is probably may favourite in the first set that inside-out position that Novak himself likes but couldn’t create the angles to open up this shot but Agut kept pushing and got to this position and once he was in this position there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Likewise with this one above as well. Agut didn’t move the serve was great and the return didn’t ask questions and Agut barely had to shift his body to open up that killer forehand cross court ending in another win.
Now have a look at both screenshots above and just look at that right arm of the Spaniard. It’s basically in-front of his nose the swing on both occasions is perfect. Perfect angle, perfect control.
Now the Spaniard plays Andy Murray on Sunday which will be a very tough test! Andy has look epic all week even against testing players in Goffin and Pouille who defeated quite easily it has to be said.
For Novak I suppose we will wait and see what will happen next…
All screenshots credit to SkySports