Bautista Agut battles back to send Djokovic crashing out

Novak Djokovic gets eliminated from Qatar Open

World number one Novak Djokovic was full of praise for Nikoloz Basilashvili having come from a set down to beat the Georgian and earn a Qatar Open semi-final clash with Roberto Bautista Agut.

And Friday's win was only the second victory in nine matches against Djokovic for 30-year-old Bautista Agut.

"I think he's the favourite, regardless of what happened in Doha, the guy had a super, super strong last five, six months of the year", said Federer.

Djokovic's first-set problems from earlier in the week were quickly forgotten as he raced into a 3-0 lead, the top seed breaking at the first attempt as a Bautista Agut backhand drifted wide.

The Serb played two matches each day for three days in singles and doubles, prior to Friday's defeat. Djokovic was also world No. 1 at that stage.

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'I can't be more happy than I am right now'.

"I feel I have a gear or two (to go) up still", said Djokovic.

"I wanted to give everything I had in the match and fight until the last point", Bautista Agut added.

If he wins his last eight match, Djokovic is on course to meet Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals after the Swiss also won on Wednesday, beating Chile's Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-6 (7/3). Novak was up and it was really tough.

"He played a good game". I care playing with him more than with anybody else, so that's why it took a lot out of me emotionally.

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He added: "I don't know the details and I wouldn't want to go into the details because I have not been doing the deal". Better in the second half, I think, because in the first half we did everything very well but too slowly.

A fired-up Djokovic smashed his racquet after dropping his serve in the eighth game of the second set.

Unlike many Spanish players who tend to favour clay, Bautista Agut is more suited to hard courts like Doha because he is a counter attacking player who plays lower, flatter shots, and does not rely so much on bounce or spin.

The first set was like a walk in the park for the World No.1 as his all-around game proved too solid for the seventh seed, with Djokovic winning it at 6-3.

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