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Roberto Bautista Agut Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Former Dubai champion Roberto Bautista Agut has insisted that he’s prepared to shrug off all obstacles while targeting a second title at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open.

Bautista Agut won his biggest career title in Dubai in 2018 with a straight-set victory against Frenchman Lucas Pouille. After that win, the 31-year-old has been on a high with his best at a Grand Slam coming up with his semi-final appearance at Wimbledon last year, and by November, Bautista Agut had scaled a career high No. 9 on the rankings.

“Wimbledon was maybe the best tournament I played in my life. I think it was a great experience. I think I learnt a lot from it. I hope I can do the same results in the next years,” Bautista Agut told media.

“The fact is I like Dubai. I like the conditions here. I think it’s great for my game and great for my tennis.

“This is one of my favourite tournaments in the year where I feel well even though sometimes the results are a little bit off.”

Bautista Agut won the Dubai title in 2018

However, it is amazing how Bautista Agut – nicknamed ‘Bati’- has come through life’s hurdles. In May 2018, his mother died suddenly, and then in November last year, his father too passed away during Spain’s sixth Davis Cup triumph against Canada. Bati left the team to attend his father’s funeral, but returned a day later and defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. A week later, he married his teenage friend Ana Bodi Tortosa.

“What I can say is what I have passed has been very difficult for me. I won’t say anything in particular to another person or another player having the same situation. I cannot say anything. Everyone has to think on what he’s doing. In my case, the tennis helped me a lot to escape everything at home, while trying to keep my mind on my job,” Bautista Agut said.

“The travel also was good for me and for my mind. As I worked a lot during all my life to be where I am, I didn’t want to stop the development, to stop my tennis career. I think that’s why I have kept fighting hard,” he shrugged.

“I am married to a great girl. She’s helping me a lot. She did also help a lot in the past. We are good together. We try to help each other in our lives.”

Bautista Agut will play his first round match against Jan-Lennard Struff, on Tuesday.