Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Saturday, February 24, 2024


Karen Khachanov saved four set points and did not face break point edging teenager Jakub Mensik 7-6(12), 6-4 to collect his sixth title in Doha.

Photo credit: Quality Sport Images/Getty

Big hitters with a shared fondness for first-strike tennis squared off in the Doha final.

A stubborn Karen Khachanov showed staying power prevailing in an explosive duel.

More: New Federer Documentary Coming

Khachanov saved four set points fending off 18-year-old Czech sensation Jakub Mensik 7-6(12), 6-4, in a dramatic Doha final.

The 27-year-old Khachanov collected his sixth career championship and first since he won the 2023 Zhuhai.

"Every title is a special one," Khachanov said afterward. "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."

Tiebreak toughness helped carry Khachanov, who improved his career finals record to 6-2, owns a 7-2 tiebreaker record in 2024.

Khachanov won the two most crucial tiebreakers of his season so far, in yesterday's 7-6(12), 6-2 semifinal win over Alexei Popyrin and in the first set of today's final by identical 14-12 scores.

"I thought yesterday's was preparation for today, 14/12," Khachanov said. "Today 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."

Doha fans appreciated Khachanov's toughness under duress and applauded the breakout performance of first-time finalist Mensik as well.

Playing just the third Tour-level event of his young career, Mensik toppled former world No. 1 Andy Murray, world No. 5 Andrey Rublev and former champion Gael Monfils to become the youngest man to reach the Doha final in history. 

Behind a booming serve and bold backhand strikes down the line, Mensik, who cites Novak Djokovic as his tennis idol and inspiration, nearly pulled out the opening set, but Khachanov was unwavering.


Latest News