DOHA/STARNBERG, March 12, 2021
Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia will compete in Saturday’s singles final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
Bautista Agut edged out No. 3 seed Andrey Rublev from Russia 6-3, 6-3. The fifth favourite from Spain, champion in the desert in 2019, converted four of his five break-point opportunities to extend his winning run in Doha to nine matches after one hour and 13 minutes.
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“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions, but I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday, but I felt fresh and I had a lot of power on the court,” said Bautista Agut.
“This court and tournament is one of my favourites. I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow.”
Basilashvili continues good run of form
Later in the evening, Basilashvili defeated US-American Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 6-1. The World No. 42, who barely won a match in the last 12 months but knocked out John Millman, Malek Jaziri and Roger Federer en-route to the stage of the final four, outpointed his 23-year-old rival 68-54 after one hour and 15 minutes.
“To reach the final means a lot,” said Basilashvili. “I am playing well and I am relaxed. It’s great to play in front of a crowd and a nice atmosphere.”
Bautista Agut is seeking his 10th ATP Tour title. The Castellon de la Plana native leads the head-to-head series with Basilahsvili 3-1. Bautista Agut also won the last meeting with Basilahsvili in Hamburg last year. The Georgian could lift his fourth career trophy, his first since winning the Hamburg European Open in 2019.