‘I had zero expectations’, says Nikoloz Basilashvili on remarkable Doha triumph
Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to win the Qatar Open and complete an unexpected triumph.
Heading into the ATP 250 tournament, the Georgian had won just two of his previous 16 matches and lost in the first round at his last four events.
The world no. 42 won a tight first set on a tiebreak after neither player faced a break point. Basilashvili secured the first break of the match to go up 4-2 in the second set, before breaking the world No. 13 again to seal a stunning victory.
He also saved a match point en route to the title in Doha – against Roger Federer in the quarter-finals. This is the 29-year-old’s fourth ATP title – with the previous three all coming at ATP 500 level.
When asked in his post-match interview if he expected this before the event, Basilashvili said: “Definitely not, I am super, super happy.
“I had zero expectations for sure to win tournament and I’m extremely happy.
“I would like to first congratulate Roberto for (making) finals, very tough conditions today so I think it could go both ways.
“Second, I would like to thank state of Qatar for a great tournament. To manage to put spectators here is such a joy and privilege to play and I hope that soon we can continue to play with spectators for the rest of the season.
“It is one of my favourite tournaments as well, like Roberto, so always happy to come back here and play.”
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