‘Beating Roger Federer, my idol, gave me a lot of confidence’: Nikoloz Basilashvili

Nikoloz Basilashvili sore like a falcon to clinch the other falcon, Qatar Open Trophy, defeating Roberto Bautista Agut in the Finals 7-6, 6-2 in just under 90 minutes.

Nikoloz Basilashvili
Nikoloz Basilashvili

Nikoloz Basilashvili won the ATP Doha Open overcoming Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 6-2 in 1hr 28 mins. Success and trophies are not a regular affair in the life of this twenty nine year old from Georgia, and this was only his fourth title on the tour, and his first ATP 250 title.

After the Final, Basilashvili talked about the significance of his Quarter Final win over Roger Federer. He spoke about how he idolizes Federer and that’s why a victory over Federer meant so much more to him. Basilashvili talked about how confident and relaxed he was after that win, and how easily he dealt with the pressures of  the Semi Final and the Final. 

Basilashvili said, “The win over Federer gave me a lot of confidence. Even though he came back after a long time, for me to beat Roger, my idol (smiling), it gave me a lot of confidence. That’s why I played the next two matches a bit more relaxed.

The rise of Nikoloz Basilashvili

Nikoloz Basilashvili
Nikoloz Basilashvili

Once called the most beatable player in the top 50 to now winning the ATP 250 event in Doha, this has been a journey extraordinaire for Nikoloz Basilashvili. Post lockdown Basilashvili has not been in the best of forms. His best finish before this tournament was a Quarter Final appearance at the Antalya Open where he lost to Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-4.

In the Doha Open he defeated John Millman in three sets in the first round. Malek Jaziri was accounted for in straight sets in the second. Up next was the Quarter Finals, against Roger Federer. In what was his biggest and most significant moment on the tennis court Basilashvili won that match against Federer 3-6 6-1 7-5. He then went on to beat the American Taylor Fritz in the Semi Finals, in straight sets, 7-6 6-1.

In the Final he was up against fifth seed and World no.13 Roberto Bautista Agut. The first set went to a tie break, which Basilashvili won. In the second set, Basilashvili won two break points when the set was 3-2 and he took them both, sealing victory in straight sets. 

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