DOHA/STARNBERG, March 13, 2021
Nikoloz Basilashvili has captured his first title since 2019 by lifting the trophy of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha. The unseeded Georgian defeated 2019 champion and fifth favourite Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain 7-6(5), 6-2 in Saturday’s singles final.
Basilashvili struck four aces and won 74 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 28 minutes.
From 5 consecutive losses on Tour…to 5 consecutive wins and a title 😯
Nikoloz Basilashvili wins the 2021 Qatar Open in Doha – upsetting Bautista Agut 7-6 6-2 in the final pic.twitter.com/K7YOlyMeEc
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 13, 2021
“I am somehow managing to play good in tougher conditions and tougher matches,” said Basilashvili, who had to save a match point against Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. “This tournament was one of the toughest ATP 250s I have ever seen, probably. We had four Top 10 players. It is interesting to ask why I am playing good in the big tournaments and big matches. It is surprising. At the same time, I am happy.”
By lifting his fourth ATP Tour career trophy, his first since the Hamburg European Open two years ago, Basilashvili pocketed in Doha $103,070 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking points.
“I am super happy. I was not expecting that but, at the same time, I was working a lot,” said Basilashvili. “I was feeling good on the court. I was playing the last half a year with a lot of stress in my body. I was not able to put 100 per cent on the court in any matches. This week, I somehow found a way to deal with the stressful moments. I am very happy to get through to the title.”
Karatsev/Rublev clinch doubles title
On Saturday, Russian ATP Cup teammates Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev clinched the doubles title. The tandem defeated Marcus Daniell from New Zealand and Austria’s Philipp Oswald 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.
“It’s only my second doubles title, so it’s a great feeling. We’ll see how I’m going to do in Dubai. Now I’m focussed on next week and I hope I can show good tennis there,” said Rublev.
“It feels great and it’s great to play with Andrey. It’s my first ATP title, so it’s an unbelievable feeling,” Karatsev added.
Rublev and Karatsev each departed Doha with 250 ATP Doubles Rankings points and a share of $38,470.
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