Roberto Bautista Agut - Australian Open 2022

Roberto Bautista Agut reveals he ‘does not agree’ with Madrid wildcard snub

Roberto Bautista Agut has voiced his opinion on not receiving a wildcard for the Madrid Open, with the Spaniard gaining entry to the main draw as a lucky loser.

Bautista Agut suffered a freak injury last year, after crushing his leg following falling from a horse that he was tending to.

This forced him to fall outside the top 100 for the first time since 2012, with Bautista Agut now ranked at No.86 after some improved results.

However, with that ranking the 36-year-old was unable to gain direct entry into the main draw of his home Masters 1000 event in Madrid.

Bautista Agut had to play qualifying, winning his opening round match before losing to compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Despite this, former top 10 player was able to gain access to the main draw via a lucky loser spot, but has spoken of his surprise to not have received a main draw wildcard, “I had to play the preview [qualifying], that’s all. The truth is that I expected to have an invitation, but hey, I have always been in a privileged position, listening to my colleagues complaining.”

Bautista Agut continued, “I understand that the tournament is owned by iMG and favors its clients, I understand that they look after their own interests, but I do not agree that this tournament has huge amounts of money from sponsors and Spanish institutions and that this is of no use. That doesn’t happen anywhere in the world, in any country, in any of the tournaments I play in, where we see something like that. This only happens here.”

Wildcards were given to tournament sponsored IMG clients, with Zizou Bergs, Darwin Blanch, Joao Fonseca, Jungcheng Shang and Martin Landaluce being offered them.

Although Bautista Agut did not receive a wildcard, the former Madrid semi-finalist won his opening main draw match in Madrid against Daniel Elahi Galan.

Last year, Jan-Lennard Struff was a lucky loser and made it all the way to the final, something that Bautista Agut is hoping to replicate.

“I hope the same thing happens to me, I would sign it now if I could. At the moment I am very happy with the game I played today, tomorrow I have a day to recover and work with my physio,” explained the Spaniard. “I will try to be 100% for Saturday’s game with Karen (Khachanov), a rival I already know, we played a very tough game here a year ago. I am very motivated, eager to do well in Madrid.”

Bautista Agut will take on 16th seed Karen Khachanov tomorrow, who he lost to in Madrid last year.

Inside the baseline…

It is hard not to understand Roberto Bautista Agut’s frustrations, with wildcards usually given to home players at tournaments. However, in Madrid only one Spanish player was given a wildcard in teenager Martin Landaluce, who is still represented by IMG. This is in such a contrast with the upcoming Italian Open, where nearly all the wildcards are given to home players and not based off sponsors.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.