Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2024 gets underway

2024-02-20 | Since 2 Month

Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2024 gets underway

Doha, 20 February 2024 - Confident Zhang Zhizhen of China just needed 61 minutes to beat seventh seed Lorenzo Musetti on day one of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (QEMO).

In another shock result, Marton Fucsovics beat two-time champion Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3 in 83 minutes.

The Hungarian will next play fourth seed Alexander Bublik. Spaniard Bautista Agut was crowned champion just two years ago, and he was also wvictorious in 2019.

Not even the blustery Doha winds could blow Zhizhen off course as the World No. 48 produced a scintillating first-round performance in tricky conditions to charge past Musetti 6-2, 6-0 at the hard-court ATP 250.

Zhang struck 19 winners and converted six of nine break points he earned, according to Infosys ATP Stats, as he wrapped victory in just 61 minutes.

“When I’m on court, I’m thinking (I can beat top players),” said Zhang, after his second Top 30 win of the year, in his on-court interview.

“On court I’m giving myself a bit more confidence with how I play and also as time passes I get more confidence... I’m super happy how I played here today, really good, and I believe I can make a deep run here.”

With his victory, Zhang became the first Chinese man to win a main-draw match in Doha, where his next opponent will be Botic van de Zandschulp or 2018 champion Gael Monfils.

The 27-year-old Zhang is now 6-6 for the season, with his best showing so far a quarter-final run in Marseille earlier this month.

When asked about the playing conditions, Zheng said: “I remember last year when I came here, it was windy, and this year also it is windy, but I have prepared myself well. This year how to say, I deal with the wind, I hang on pretty well. That’s also very important for today, because I think today the wind makes it a little bit troubling for him. He is a very good player, and today he had quite a lot of mistakes I think because of the wind.”

In the opening match of the day at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, Pavel Kotov also eased to his maiden main-draw win in Doha. The World No. 64 defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-5 to set a second-round meeting with third seed Ugo Humbert.

Second seed Karen Khachanov on Monday said he is used to the windy playing conditions in the Middle East.

“I think every tournament has different conditions. I live in Dubai, so in Middle East, you know, it’s let’s say pretty similar weather, climate, right? So in this case, you know, I was coming from last week, trained there outdoors,” Khachanov said on Monday.

“But I think here it can be sometimes really windy. You don’t know which way the wind blows. You know, it’s a little bit becomes much more difficult to control the ball, to play, let’s say, your best tennis. I think you need to adapt and to adjust to that. The courts itself, they look pretty nice, pretty, let’s say, middle speed, you know, after the women’s tournament.”


Add Comment