Khachanov ends Mensik’s run to claim Falcon Trophy

2024-02-25 | Since 2 Month

Khachanov claims Falcon Trophy

Doha, 25 February 2024 - US-based Russian, Karen Khachanov fulfilled his dream of lifting the Falcon Trophy as he saved four set points before overcoming the fairytale run of teenager Jakub Mensik of Czech Republic 7-6(12), 6-4 in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex on Saturday.

It was the 27-year-old Khachanov’s his sixth tour-level crown and first of this season.

The victory also fetched Khachanov the glittering Falcon Trophy which he received from Minister of Sport and Youth HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, and a cheque of $212,300 from Qatar Tennis Federation President Nasser bin Ghanim Al Khelaifi.

In a heavy-hitting battle, Khachanov ensured that he did not drop a set all week. Khachanov fended off four set points in the opener before he stepped in on the 18-year-old’s second serve at 12/13, crushing a forehand return to gain a one-set advantage on his fourth set point.

Khachanov, who is up two spots to No. 15 in the ATP Live Rankings, built upon his momentum to break Mensik’s serve in the opening game of the second set. It deflated a dream week for the teen, who was competing in just his third tour-level event and had become the youngest finalist in Doha tournament history.

“Every title is a special one,” Khachanov said in his on-court interview. “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.

"I couldn’t believe it was the same score, same tie-break... 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.”

Both players fired booming serves throughout the one-hour, 49-minute encounter, precisely hitting their targets and searching for the first opportunity to step inside the court. “For a minute, I thought I was playing John Isner and not Jakub Mensik today,” Khachanov said with a laugh during the trophy presentation regarding Mensik’s 16 aces.

Khachanov did not face a break point all match as he won 83 per cent of points behind his first delivery. He maintained hefty firepower from the baseline and held the advantage in backhand cross-court rallies to claim his first title since Zhuhai last September.

Mensik impressed throughout the entire week in Doha, where he defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and three former champions — Andy Murray, top seed Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils — en route to his first tour-level final. The Prostejov native is up to a career-high No. 87 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will make his Top 100 debut on Monday.

Mensik also holds the top spot in the ATP Race to Jeddah as he aims for his first trip to the 20-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals. The 6’4” Czech took advantage of a Next Gen reserved spot into the ATP 250 as part of new opportunities for players aged 20 and under. Players inside the Top 350 receive up to eight ATP Challenger Tour 100 and 125 opportunities. But as a Top 250 player Mensik also receives one opportunity in an ATP 250 main draw (and two ATP 250 qualifying events).

“For sure this week will be unforgettable for me,” Mensik said. “From the beginning, I didn’t even get to this tournament on my own ranking. I had to use the Next Gen spot, so I tried to enjoy every moment on the court. I didn’t expect that I will go through to the final. So I’m really happy with my performance.”


Jamie Murray and Michael Venus collected their first title of the season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open after they survived Italians Lorenzo Musetti and Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(0), 2-6, 10-8 in Saturday’s final.

The British-Kiwi team, who won four team titles in 2023, dropped just one set all week en route to the ATP 250 crown. The Doha triumph comes as a welcome sight for Murray and Venus, who entered the week winless in 2024 (Murray playing two events, Venus playing five events). Musetti and Sonego, both Top 50 singles players in the ATP Rankings, were competing in their first tour-level doubles final as a team.


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