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Djokovic’s conqueror bags title

DOHA (AFP) – Roberto Bautista Agut followed up his shock victory over world number one Novak Djokovic by lifting the Qatar Open title on Saturday.

The Spaniard ground out a hard-fought victory in three sets against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the final.

‘‘It’s been a fantastic week for me,’’ he said immediately after his triumph. Today it was not easy to manage all the emotions I had on court.’’

It was the 30-year-old’s ninth career title and his first in Doha.

Bautista Agut will rise one place in the world rankings to 23 on the back of the victory in Qatar, and said his aim was to go higher.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut poses with the trophy after winning the ATP Qatar Open tennis final match against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych (unseen) in Doha on January 5, 2019. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut poses with the trophy after winning the ATP Qatar Open tennis final match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych (unseen) in Doha on January 5, 2019. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

‘‘Why can I not be close to the top 10?’’ he asked afterwards.

He added that his immediate aim was to ‘‘be fresh’’ and then win as many matches ‘‘as I can’’ in Melbourne at the Australian Open.

The victory came 24 hours after he beat Djokovic in the semi-final, also in three sets.

He also beat three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka in straight sets earlier in the week.

In total, Bautista Agut only lost two sets all week in his five matches.

The Spaniard made the decisive break of serve in the third game of the final set to take a lead he never lost.

Wildcard Berdych threatened to break back but squandered two points on Bautista Agut’s serve in the seventh game.

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