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Doha rain leads to packed Friday schedule featuring Wawrinka, Rublev
The top-seeded Swiss faces Bedene; Rublev will take on Herbert; and Verdasco is set to play Moutet, a qualifier.
Published Jan 10, 2020
DOHA—Miomir Kecmanovic needed to be both lucky and efficient to get his quarterfinal finished on a rainy Thursday at the Qatar Open. The 20-year-old dispatched Marcos Fucsovics in 55 minutes, 6-2, 6-0, just seconds before rain began.
The rain wouldn’t stop, with the semifinals left to be both decided and completed on Friday. Here's a look at who's left in the draw:
Andrey Rublev (2) vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert
The 23rd-ranked Rublev is the clear favorite, but the two have never played each other before, which can make for unpredictable results. Rublev is already in excellent form, and is working on his mental toughness in 2020.
"I would say I feel more confident about my level," he said. "But anyway, every match is tough. Every match you don't know how you feel because you cannot play amazing every day. And then you have to be confident mentally and strong mentally, and this is the main part I would like to improve and I would like to learn, and we'll see."
He’ll be tested on Friday, as the world No. 65-ranked Frenchman handily took out No. 5-seeded Laslo Djere, 6-1, 6-3, on Wednesday.
A well-rested Kecmanovic awaits the winner.
Stan Wawrinka (1) vs. Aljaz Bedene
Wawrinka has a 3-1 record against the Slovenian, but their most recent meeting, in 2018, did not go his way. The Swiss arrived early in Doha to prepare—early enough to enjoy a day of dune-bashing and to visit the new National Museum of Qatar.
In his first match on Wednesday, Wawrinka recovered from a second-set blip to top Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 6-4, and can’t stop talking about how happy he is.
“I’m happy to be still playing,” the world No. 15 said. "I’m happy to be still playing at good level. So I'm happy to be here for another year and hopefully a good one for me.”
Fernando Verdasco vs. Corentin Moutet
Moutet's quarterfinal run has been unexpected, but the world No. 81 hasn't lost a set all week. The qualifier topped No. 3-seeded Milos Raonic in two tiebreak sets on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Frenchman began to make a name for himself last year, posting wins over Grigor Dimitrov, Reilly Opelka, Guido Pella and Dusan Lajovic.
Verdasco is feeling more at home in Qatar than Wawrinka, having lived in Doha since 2016. He has two respectable wins under his belt, over Pablo Andujar and Filip Krajinovic.
The quarterfinals will begin at 12:30 local time on Friday, with the semifinals to follow.