Bautista Agut denies Pouille top-10 spot with Dubai glory
Roberto Bautista Agut denied Lucas Pouille a place in the world's top 10 for the first time by defeating him 6-3 6-4 in the Dubai Tennis Championships final on Saturday.
Victory would have provided a milestone moment for Pouille, but it was the Spaniard who prevailed to claim the first ATP 500 title of his career and second overall this season.
Bautista Agut did not drop a point in either of his opening two service games and moved 3-1 up by forcing a break at the fourth attempt.
A lovely backhand down the line stopped Pouille immediately cancelling out that advantage and Bautista Agut clinched the first set with a powerful serve down the middle that the Frenchman could not return.
The energetic Bautista Agut was dictating the play but was unable to avoid being broken in game four of the second. However, Pouille failed to consolidate the break and momentum soon swung firmly in favour of the Spaniard.
He claimed a crucial break to put himself in position to serve for the title and the triumph was completed when his opponent fired a forehand into the net.