MUMBAI (Reuters) – Qualifying for the season-ending men’s ATP Finals, which features the world’s top eight singles players and doubles teams, is one of the goals for Roberto Bautista Agut before he retires, the Spaniard has said.
The 32-year-old came close to ticking that off his wish list when he rose to a career-high world ranking of ninth last year and served as a reserve player for the 2019 edition of the event in London.
“It is one of the goals I would like to achieve before retiring,” Bautista Agut told ATPTour.com.
“I know how difficult it is, I know that I have been very close some seasons. It’s not something I’m obsessed about, but it remains a goal I’d like to achieve some day.”
Bautista Agut was ranked 12th when the tennis season was suspended in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tennis shutdown will continue at least until the end of July and the fate of the 50th edition of the ATP Finals, scheduled for Nov. 15-22 in London, is expected to be decided later.
The Spaniard made a strong start to the season by winning all six of his singles matches for Spain in the ATP Cup before reaching the third round of the Australian Open, where he fell to Croatia’s Marin Cilic after a gruelling five-setter.
In November, Bautista Agut, who has 11 career wins against top 10 opponents, returned to Spain’s Davis Cup squad a day after his father’s funeral and delivered an emotional win over Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime to help his country to a sixth title.
“What keeps me motivated is my competitiveness. I’m very competitive both as an athlete and person,” he said. “I’m always trying to improve and win, adding minor details to my game, because it’s a feeling I love.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford)