UPSET: Swiss Qualifier Outplays 11th Seed Roberto Bautista Agut at French Open 2021

Published 06/02/2021, 9:21 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in action during his semi final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut slumped to a four-set defeat at the hands of World No.150 Henri Laaksonen in the second round of French Open 2021. The match, which lasted for 2 hours and 21 minutes, is the first time Bautista Agut lost to a qualifier at a Grand Slam.

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Henri Laaksonen stuns Roberto Bautista Agut at French Open 2021

Bautista Agut lost his serve in the first game itself as Laaksonen was ready to play from the baseline. And after that, as rallies extended beyond five shots, the latter was in control. Agut started off with a rather below-par service and hence saw constant pressure from his opponent.

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Roberto Bautista Agut in action during his third-round match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Later serving at 3-1, Bautista found himself 40-0 down. However, with a few good serves, he saved three break points to hold and cut back Laaksonen’s lead 3-2. But Laaksonen’s serve was top-notch. He led 4-2 while giving only two points off his serve. The pressure was soon on Bautista Agut, yet again, at 5-3. The Spaniard couldn’t hold his serve and hence lost the first set 6-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut’s brief comeback in the match

Bautista Agut was much better on his serve in the second set. With the high intensity in the first set, Laaksonen was a bit down and Bautista Agut settled in the match. Serving at 2-2, the former had a double fault and unforced errors and hence gave a break to the Spaniard.

In the second set, it was Bautista Agut thriving in the longer rallies. He was smart in his play and targeted Laaksonen’s second serve. Bautista Agut got another break and served for the set at 5-2. He later won the second set, 6-2, with an ace.

Roberto Bautista Agut in action. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Henri Laaksonen stamps his authority

Laaksonen again broke the 200 MPH barrier with his serve in the third set. He won his first service game and later broke Bautista Agut to lead, 2-0. That was a blip in focus from the Spaniard. He tried his best to break Laaksonen back, but it was very tough.

Laaksonen was back, firing with his aces and quickly the set reached 5-2 and the pressure was on Bautista Agut. But he didn’t panic and gave his opponent a chance to serve for the set.

Here, Laaksonen started with a double fault and was a break point down. However, two fantastic serves saved him and he took the set, 6-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut is ousted

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Bautista Agut was back serving just like he did in the first set. He was missing his lines and hit a few double faults as well. Taking the momentum from the third set, Laaksonen was 2-0 ahead with a break. Bautista was being made to toil for his points and hence was visibly tired.

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However, Bautista gave a push when Laaksonen was serving at 2-1. But he again couldn’t convert his break points and Laaksonen was lucky to save four break points in the game. After this both the players exchanged breaks and Laaksonen in the end triumphed, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1071 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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