ATP roundup: Karen Khachanov captures Doha championship

League: Tennis

Posted on: 25 Feb, 2024 at 07:22 AM

Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 seed Karen Khachanov defeated Czech teenager Jakub Mensik 7-6 (12), 6-4 Saturday to win his sixth career title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

The 27-year-old Russian did not drop a set all week, a record he kept intact by fighting off four set points in the opening-set tiebreak.

Khachanov prevailed on the 26th point of the tiebreak by crushing a forehand return on Mensik's big serve, then collected the only break of the match in the opening game of the second set.

"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," said Khachanov, whose one-hour, 49-minute victory delivered his first title since Zhuhai in September.

Mensik, competing in only his third tour-level event, was the youngest finalist in Doha history. He hammered 16 aces and finished with 33 winners and 10 unforced errors.

Rio Open

Qualifier Mariano Navone upset second seed and defending champion Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-4, 6-2 to set up an all-Argentine final Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

Navone will face fifth seed Sebastian Baez, who knocked off countryman Francisco Cerundolo, the fourth seed, 7-5, 6-0. Baez was down three set points at 4-5 in the first set, saved each one and didn't lose another game in the one hour, 59-minute match.

Navone, 22, beat his first Top 50 opponent in No. 23 Norrie and became the first qualifier to reach an ATP 500 final since Jiri Vesely in Dubai in 2022. Navone converted 5 of 18 break-point opportunities, to 2 of 4 for Norrie.

Mifel Tennis Open

Eighth-seeded Jordan Thompson captured his first career ATP Tour title, taking down the fourth seed, Casper Ruud, in straight sets in the final in Los Cabos, Mexico, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Thompson, who is ranked 40th in the world, gained an edge in the second-set tiebreaker by winning the fifth point on Ruud's serve to go ahead 3-2. It was the only point in the tiebreaker where serve didn't hold, and the Australian clinched the match on his first match point.

Thompson had seven aces to none for Ruud, the Norwegian who is No. 12 in the ATP rankings. Thompson also saved 11 of 13 break points, while Ruud failed on all three of his opportunities.

--Field Level Media