DOHA, January 11, 2020
Andrey Rublev is the first singles champion of the new decade on the ATP Tour. In the youngest final in the 28-year history of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the 22-year-old Russian defeated 20-year-old French qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-2, 7-6(3).
On a chilly and windy Saturday evening at Doha’s Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Rublev was the dominant player right from the beginning. The No. 2 seed of the ATP 250 hard-court event broke his opponent’s serve in the second game and took the opening set after 31 minutes.
Rublev continued with his fine form at the start of the second set by gaining another early lead. The Moscow native faced his first break points in the sixth game, where he missed an overhead smash and Moutet was back in the match. Rublev, however, returned to his best in the tie-break and converted his third match point after one hour and 26 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 11, 2020
“It’s amazing. I’m always really happy to play here. I always enjoy my time here and to finally win the title is something special for me,” said Rublev, who finished runner-up to Gael Monfils in 2018. “ It’s my first experience at the start of a season with the trophy and it’s an amazing feeling. I hope I can keep this level.”
By lifting Doha’s golden falcon on Centre Court, his third ATP-Tour career trophy following his triumphs in Umag 2017 and Moscow last year, Rublev took away from Qatar $227,930 in prize money as well as 250 ATP-Ranking points. He will break into the Top 20 for the first time on Monday.
“There is still much to work on, but I’m happy to become a Top 20 player,” Rublev said. “I think this is a good part of me, that I still have a lot of space to improve. I want to try to arrive to my maximum and then we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
Moutet enjoys positive week
First-time ATP finalist Moutet could also take some positives from his week in the desert. “The way I controlled my mind during all the week, maybe not today too much, but the other days was really good. I did a lot of improvement on this side,” the young Frenchman, known for some meltdowns on the court in the past, told journalists with a smile in his post-match press conference.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t win tonight because the opponent was too good. But I will remember this all my life.”
Corentin Moutet’s 🇫🇷 positive takeaways from his week in Doha:
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) January 11, 2020
The NextGen ATP Frenchman has clinched four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour but is getting ready to take the next step to a higher level.
“I did some good stuff, but it’s still not enough. It will never be enough, I think. I always have to work more and more because all the other guys are working as well. I’m still not on top. I’m really far away. I still need to
improve my game, Physically and in my mind, I still need to work hard on it to be able to compete with all the top guys in the future,” Moutet said added:
“I’ll try to do my best in the upcoming tournaments and then let’s see. I will not be a top guy for the moment. I need to become a top guy.”
By earning his biggest prize cheque of $126,160 as well as 150 ATP Ranking points, Moutet will crack the Top 75 next week.