Nikoloz Basilashvili returns to form in style by winning Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Eleanor Crooks, PA Tennis Correspondent
·2-min read

Nikoloz Basilashvili capped a remarkable return to form by lifting the Qatar ExxonMobil Open trophy.

The Georgian arrived in Doha having lost 14 of the 16 matches he had played since the tour resumed last summer, with his only victories coming against opponents ranked outside the top 250.

Basilashvili’s poor form coincided with him being charged in his native country with domestic violence against his ex-wife, and the legal process remains ongoing.

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But the world number 42 has found the winning formula again on court this week, starting with a first-round victory over John Millman.

His stand-out win, of course, came in the quarter-finals when he ended Roger Federer’s comeback event, and he completed one of the best weeks of his career with a 7-6 (5) 6-2 victory over fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Asked on court whether he imagined at the beginning of the week he would end it with the trophy, Basilashvili said: “Definitely not. I’m super, super happy. I had zero expectations for sure to win the tournament.”

The final of the Open 13 Provence in Marseille will be between top seed Daniil Medvedev and unseeded Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

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Medvedev benefited from an injury sustained by Australian opponent Matt Ebden, who retired trailing 6-4 3-0.

Herbert, meanwhile, is through to his first ATP singles final since 2019 after upsetting countryman Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2.

Herbert, who is better known as a doubles player, has already beaten Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas this week and is bidding for a first singles title.

A drought was also ended in Chile, as Argentinian Facundo Bagnis outlasted compatriot Federico Delbonis 7-5 6-3 to reach the final of the Chile Dove+Men Care Open – his first ATP Tour singles final in 13 years.

Bagnis will take on home favourite Cristian Garin in the final after the number one seed qualified with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Columbia’s Daniel Galan.