Basilashvili, Bautista Agut Return To Doha Final

Nikoloz Basilashvili (photo: QTF)

DOHA/STARNBERG, February 18, 2022

Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia and last year’s runner-up Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain have both returned to the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

Basilashvili, the No. 3 seed of the ATP Tour 250 hard-court tournament held at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, beat Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-4, 6-2 on Friday afternoon. The World No. 22 saved both break points he faced and capitalized on three of his own four break-point opportunities to advance after one hour and 12 minutes.

“I am feeling great,” Basilashvili said. “I really like playing in Doha. I see the ball really well here and physically I feel much better than previous matches. The final will be a tough match.”

Later, Bautista Agut edged out No. 6 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. The second favourite from Castellón de la Plana withstood 17 aces and outpointed his rival 96-94 after two hours and 24 minutes.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I want to give a lot of credit to Karen, he was playing unbelievably. I had to fight really hard to turn the score around. It was a really tough match.”

Bautista Agut and Basilashvili will meet for the sixth time with the Spaniard leading 3-2 in their head-to-head records. The Georgian won 6-2, 7-6 in last year’s championship match in Doha.

Koolhof/Skupski crowned doubles champions

In other action, Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands and Briton Neal Skupski captured the doubles title. The No. 3 seeds defeated Rohan Bopanna of India and Denis Shapovalov from Canada 7-6(4), 6-1 in one hour and 15 minutes.

Following their triumphs on Australian soil at the Melbourne Summer Set and the Adelaide International 2 in January, Koolhof and Skupski claimed their third team title. They split $40,720 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.