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

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, February 22, 2024


18-year-old Jakub Mensik saved all six break points he faced stunning top-seeded Andrey Rublev, 6-4, 7-6(6), to become the youngest Doha semifinalist.

Photo credit: Hameltonian/Wikimedia Commons

Jakub Mensik was a triumphant tennis marathon man yesterday.

Today, the 18-year-old Czech continued his dynamic Doha joy run with the biggest win of his career.

More: Delray Beach Final Photo Gallery By Matthew Calvis

A calm Mensik shocked top-seeded Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6(6), to become the youngest Qatar Open semifinalist in tournament history.

It's a monumental moment for Mensik, who is the youngest man to beat a Top 5-ranked opponent since a teenage Carlos Alcaraz toppled Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 US Open.

"It's just been an incredible week from the beginning I played very well and I knew I could play with the big players," Mensik said. "It's an amazing feeling to reach the semifinals after beating those good players.

"But the job is not done yet. Hopefully I can play like this again in the semis tomorrow and go on to make the final."

The Czech teenager will face a Frenchman, either third-seeded Ugo Humbert or wild card Gael Monfils, for a spot in the final.

The other semifinal pits second-seeded Karen Khachanov against Aussie Alexei Popyrin, who took down fourth-seeded Alexander Bublik 6-4, 6-4. 

The upset victory vaults Mensik inside the Top 100 for the first time to a new career-high ranking of No. 94 in the ATP Live Rankings.

A day after Mensik out-dueled former world No. 1 Andy Murray, 7-6(8), 6-7(3), 7-6(4) in a three hour, 23-minute marathon that was the longest match in Doha tournament history, he was back bouncing around the court with exuberance today.

Former junior world No. 2 Mensik saved all six break points he faced, slammed 10 aces against no double faults and dropped just 10 points on his first serve.

The snapping serve and biting backhand down the line helped Mensik keep Rublev off balance at times.

Mensik converted his second break point to break for 4-3 then denied a break point to consolidate for 5-3. The explosive Czech served out the set.

The top-seeded Rublev earned four break points early in the second set, but Menski continued to come up with big serves at crunch time subduing stress as he held for 3-3.

Serving at 5-6, Mensik fought off a set point to force the second-set tiebreaker.

Though Rublev went up 5-3 in the breaker, that was merely a prelude to more Mensik magic. 

Mensik lasered a backhand winner down the line for 5-all.

Hitting a heavy forehand brought Mensik to match point at 6-5.

Attacking a short ball, Rublev slugged a forehand swing volley to save match point.

Drawing a netted forehand brought Mensik to a second match point.

Running around his backhand, Mensik mashed a forehand down the line then dropped to his knees in joy.


Latest News