Khachanov defeats Mensik to lift Qatar crown

It was a first title this year for Karen Khachanov, who got the better of Jakub Mensik

Karen Khachanov (screengrab from Tennis TV)
Qatar ExxonMobil Open •Final • completed
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Sealing it with a fizzing ace, Karen Khachanov won his sixth ATP Tour singles title by beating Jakub Mensik 7-6 (12), 6-4 to win the Qatar Open.

“Every title is a special one,” Khachanov said afterwards. “Every time, you want to win. We play around 22 tournaments per season and at the end of the day, you compete every week. For sure here in Doha it is one of the nicest trophies.”

It is Khachanov’s first title since Zhuhai in 2023, and he did it without dropping a set in Doha – the third man this year to win a tournament without losing a set.

It was a challenge, though, made evident by the first-set tiebreak, in which Khachanov had to save four set points before taking it 14-12 – coincidentally, the same score by which he took the first-set tiebreak in his semi-final against Alexei Popyrin.

“I thought yesterday’s was preparation for today, 14-12. Today I couldn’t believe it was the same score, same tie-break,” Khachanov added. “I stayed strong, I’m extremely happy that I won the first set. It lifted me a lot and gave me a lot of confidence to step up in the second.”

Mensik was on a quest to become the youngest Doha champion in tournament history, and the tenth youngest champion since the ATP Tour began in 1990.

He will, however, break into the Top 100 when the new ATP rankings are released on Monday following a week in which he secured the biggest win of his career by beating world No 5 Andrey Rublev, not to mention former world No 1 Andy Murray.

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