Nikolaz Basilishvili capped an improbable run beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 6-2 to capture the Doha title.
The 29-year-old finished 0-9 last year and was just 2-14 in his last 16 matches coming into the week. But big-hitting Basilashvili stunned Roger Federer, then bested Taylor Fritz and now the Spaniard who he was 1-3 against.
“I was not expecting that. But same time, I was working a lot. I was feeling good on court,” Basilashvili said. “I was playing last half of year with a lot of stress in my body. I was not able to put 100% on court on any matches. This week I somehow find a way to deal with these stressful moments and very happy to get through.”
Basilashvili, who saved a match point in his win over Federer, continued to roll on serve and broke Bautista Agut in the middle of the second.
“Very tough conditions,” he said. “It was very strong gusts today. But I had good mindset, you know. From the beginning I was accepting things very good.”
I was concentrated on just to play the game and just to look at the ball and move a lot. It was tough physically, as well, because for sure you have to move twice a hard. And I manage that.
Basilasvili earned his 4th career ATP title, first since 2019 Hamburg when he beat Alexander Zverev, and he has won his last four finals.
Bautista Agut was second another Doha title. He had won his last nine matches at the event before today.
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