For the second time this season, it couldn’t be. Roberto Bautista stayed at the gates of the tenth title of his record after falling in the final of Doha ATP 250 against Nikoloz Basilashvili (42nd), who had one of his best performances in a long time after fitting eleven consecutive defeats in the past season. The Georgian came from winning Roger Federer in the second game of the Swiss after his reappearance, and that confidence gave him wings to tie the title in the sixth final of his career (18th of Bautista) by a score of 6-7 and 2-6 in 90 minutes of the game.
Strong gusts of wind of the last days in Doha also made an appearance in a final to which Rober came with ghosts to drive away: those of the final lost in Montpellier, this year against Goffin, and those of his only defeat against Basilashvili, which was also on a hard court. The Castellón started well with the drive, adjusting balls near the lines, while the Georgian was really inspired by the backhand. In that antagonistic clash of styles, the law of the serve commanded, so there was no other outcome than the tie-break to break equality. After the first six points went to the receiver, Basilashvili gained momentum with serve to get the set back on track, with ball to the included line which looked bad.
Unfortunately for the tennis player from Castellón, Basilashvili notably raised his level in the second set. The Georgian warned in the fourth game, but Rober He was able to get away from an adverse 0-30 to equalize the score. Had to wait until 18 games to see the first break options in the match, that thanks to their success and aggressiveness from the back of the track they fell on the side of the Georgian (Bautista did not have any in the whole crash). He did not forgive Basilashvili, who tied the break at his first opportunity and flew to the title with four consecutive games. Rober had the option of closing the circle in Doha, where he won his last trophy way back in 2019, but for now we will have to wait. Despite the unexpected setback, the Spaniard won this week two top-10 the likes of Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev, so you can leave the Qatari capital with your head held high. That is the way.
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