However, he has never been able to break into the top 10 and has struggled to beat higher-ranked opponents on a regular basis.
It was anticipated the Spaniard would provide a sterner challenge to Djokovic than any of the Serb’s previous opponents and his fighting spirit – not to mention his all-round game – troubled his decorated rival.
But it was remarkable Bautista Agut was even playing at Roland Garros following the death of his mother Esther on 21 May, days before the tournament began.
The 30-year-old said he wanted to play to take his mind off his loss.
“My life is tennis so I’m used to going inside the court and forgetting about my real life,” he said.
“That’s the thing I’ve been doing for a lot of years.
“But it was not easy to go on court recently, I don’t know how I managed it.”
The world number 13 put the difficult circumstances to one side as he focused on beating Djokovic for only the second time in their eight meetings.
However, he eventually ran out of energy – physically and mentally – as he was unable to reach the last 16 for the third straight year.