DOHA, January 3, 2018
Mirza Basic and Stefanos Tstispas enjoy a dream start in 2018. After qualifying for the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on New Year’s Eve, the 26-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina continued his good run with a 6-4, 7-6 win over eighth seed Feliciano López from Spain. Basic withstood 13 aces, hitting eight of his own to reach the quarterfinals after one hour and 25 minutes. He will next face Argentine Guido Pella.
#NextGenATP player Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced to the stage of the final eight, knocking out fifth seed Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old qualifier from Greece didn’t face a break point, converting two of his own to finish the encounter in one hour and 11 minutes.
“It’s inspiring. I’ve been watching him since I was 8, 10 years old on TV. I couldn’t imagine that I would play him one day, and today I was standing on the opposite side of the net and facing him, and playing with my heart out there, giving my best,” Tsitsipas said.
The teenager will next play Dominic Thiem. The top seed edged past Aljaz Bedene, who is now representing Slovenia again, 7-5, 6-4. The World No. 5 from Austria won 54 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 46 minutes, reaching the quarterfinal of an ATP event since Cincinnati last year. Thiem will next play
Russia’s youngster Andrey Rublev upset seventh seed Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The 20-year-old Moscow native capitalized on four of his seven break point opportunities to prevail after one hour and 57 minutes. Next up for Rublev will be Borna Coric, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-1, 6-3.