Doha | Rublev to face Monfils in final
The Qatar Open features Gael Monfils and Andrey Rublev both unseeded and both reflecting two separate generations of the game with the Frenchman reaching the finals in Doha for a fourth time in 12 years while the young Russian, on his debut, makes the title round for the first time.
For Monfils, facing the top seeded Dominic Thiem, it proved to be a day of rest as the Austrian withdrew from their semi-final confrontation with a fever.
It was the opposite for Rublev who was kept on court for two hours and 25-minutes before progressing 6-2 4-6 7-(2) against the Argentine Guido Pella for his second ATP Tour final.
Rublev, who relies on sheer power, especially on his forehand, saved a match point in the 10th game of the deciding set. His major weakness is his second serve which gave his opponent11 free points via double-faults.
However, he held his nerve when it mattered and his mental strength is now one of greatest assets.
The Russian made a lot of unforced errors with Guido dominating the shorter points while Rublev had the upper hand when int came to the longer rallies moving his opponent behind the baseline with his sharp forehands and using every inch of the open court to blast a winner.