Djokovic controlled the opening exchanges without earning a break point and, after a slight wobble midway through a tight set where the pair traded baseline blows, converted his first opportunity to clinch the set.
Momentum continued to flow with Djokovic at the start of the second, breaking at the first chance, only to allow Bautista Agut back into the set when the Spaniard claimed his first break point of the match for 4-3
I’m not proud of doing that to be honest. I don’t like doing it, but at times it happens.”
Djokovic still had a moody expression when he returned to court for the third set – but that release of anger eventually seemed to work in his favour.
There were six breaks of serve in an erratic set before Djokovic clinched the tie-break shortly after the match clock passed the three-hour mark.
That gave him the impetus in the fourth set, going two breaks up before taking his second match point with a thumping overhead that Bautista Agut could not reach.