After coming back from match point down to beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, Nikoloz Basilashvili went all the way in Doha this week, beating Roberto Bautista Agut in a windy final on Saturday, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to capture the fourth ATP title of his career—and his first since July 2019.

The former No. 16 came into Doha ranked No. 42, having gone 2-13 at tour-level since the restart.

He was asked afterwards if he came to the event thinking he would win. “Definitely not,” he said. “I’m super, super happy—I had zero expectations, for sure, to win the tournament. I’m extremely happy.”

Neither player budged on serve in the first set of the final, both holding all six of their service games without even facing a break point. Bautista Agut, who had won three of their four previous meetings, looked like he might take over from there—going up an early mini-break at 2-1—but Basilashvili got the mini-break right back and would win six of the last nine points to sneak out the opening set.

After another four solid holds for 2-all in the second set, the Georgian caught fire, winning four games in a row—including the only two breaks of the match—to close it out after an hour and 28 minutes.

“He played great. He played very aggressive,” Bautista Agut said at the trophy ceremony.

“Today it was his final.”

“[There were] very strong gusts today, but I had a good mindset,” Basilashvili told about the difficult on-court conditions. “From the beginning I was accepting things very good. I was concentrated on just playing the game and just looking at the ball and moving a lot. It was tough physically, as well, because for sure you have to move twice as hard, and I managed that.”

After beating Federer in QFs, Basilashvili goes all the way in Doha

After beating Federer in QFs, Basilashvili goes all the way in Doha


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Since the tour resumed last August, Basilashvili’s only two wins had come against players who weren’t even ranked in the Top 250, in the first week of the 2021 season in Antalya, Turkey. And his last win over a Top 50 player came against No. 45 Pablo Cuevas at the ATP Cup in January 2020.

In Doha this week he beat four Top 50 players en route to the title: No. 41 John Millman in the first round, No. 6 Federer in the quarterfinals, No. 33 Taylor Fritz in the semis and now No. 13 Bautista Agut.

“I was not expecting that, but at the same time I was working a lot,” Basilashvili told “I was playing the last half a year with a lot of stress in my body. I was not able to put 100 percent on the court in any matches. This week, I somehow found a way to deal with the stressful moments.”

It’s the Georgian’s first ATP title at the 250-level, his first three all coming at the 500-level, at Hamburg and Beijing in 2018 and then Hamburg again in 2019. He improved to 4-2 in his career in ATP finals.

He’s projected to return to the Top 40 on the ATP rankings on Monday, at approximately No. 37.

After beating Federer in QFs, Basilashvili goes all the way in Doha

After beating Federer in QFs, Basilashvili goes all the way in Doha