DOHA, January 10, 2020
Andrey Rublev and Corentin Moutet are the first two players this season to reach a singles final on the ATP Tour. Due to bad weather on Thursday, both men had to contest their quarter- and semi-final matches on a busy Friday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
Moutet has experienced his probably best day of his still-young career as a tennis professional. In the opening match on Centre Court, the 20-year-old Frenchman fought past Spanish veteran and Doha resident Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 12 minutes. Later in the evening, Moutet knocked out the tournament’s top seed and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after another two hours of play.
The Moutet March continues in Qatar! 🙌@moutet99 defeats top seed Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 6-3 to reach his first ATP Tour final 👏
He’ll face Andrey Rublev on Saturday 🇶🇦 pic.twitter.com/45sItTGpjF
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 10, 2020
“He was dictating more than me and that made the difference. I think he played really well when he needed to. He was really being aggressive,” Wawrinka had to admit and added that it was “a good tournament in general.”
Rublev into second Doha final
Earlier at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Rublev cruised past NextGen ATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-1 in only 53 minutes, followed by a 6-4, 6-3 victory for the No. 2 seed over Pierre-Hugues Herbert after one hour and 41 minutes.
“Today I felt even better in the second match than the first match. I was moving better. I was hitting better. The energy was much better the second match than the first match,” said Rublev.
“Of course it’s amazing when in the beginning of the season you go to the final. It’s an amazing feeling. So we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow. I will do my best.
“Moutet is showing really great game this week. He beat players that are really tough.”
Rublev and Moutet will meet for the first time. The 22-year-old Russian, who spent Christmas with his family at home in Moscow and arrived in Doha on January 2, is seeking his third career title on the ATP Tour. Rublev finished runner-up to Gael Monfils in Doha two years ago. Moutet, a four-time ATP Challenger champion, could lift his maiden ATP Tour trophy.
Bopanna/Koolhof crowned doubles champions
Rohan Bopanna of India and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof lifted the first ATP Tour trophy of the decade winning the doubles final in Doha against Luke Bambridge from Great Britain and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 3-6, 6-2, 10-6. The encounter lasted one hour and 12 minutes.
“It is nice when you get that success immediately,” said Bopanna. “I am really happy that I got this opportunity to come to Doha to play for the very first time. I’ve always played in India. When Wes was available, especially after such a successful 2019, it was a nice opportunity for me to play with him… It is good to start off the year with a title.”
Koolhof added: “Last year, I won in Brisbane and three years ago I won in the second week in Sydney. I am always starting off the season well, so I think it is time for holidays again.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 10, 2020