Federer's conqueror Basilashvili beats Bautista Agut to scoop Qatar Open
Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, who ended Roger Federer's comeback in the quarter-finals, beat Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to win the Qatar Open in Doha on Saturday and secure a fourth career title.
Their clash in the Gulf desert nation was characterised by hot, dusty wind that slowed down their exchanges but world number 42 Basilashvili bided his time to snatch the first set in a tiebreak.
Basilashvili, who arrived at the Qatar Open with a 2-13 record since the resumption of the sport in August, penetrated 2019 champion Bautista Agut's defences in the sixth game of the second set, winning a crucial breakpoint with a backhand.
He made simple work of the eighth game to win the trophy on his first championship point after 90 minutes on court.
"I had zero expectations to win the tournament," said 29-year-old Basilashvili.
"It was very tough conditions today it could have gone both ways."
Federer, who has since pulled out of the Dubai event next week, now has his eyes firmly set on Wimbledon where he has won eight of his 20 majors.
The blustery night made play more tentative than in previous rounds with rallies noticeably slower.
Basilashvili moved to control the points early but nine holds of serve in the first set, and with the pair tied at 6-6, the set went to a tie-break.
The second set was a simpler affair with the Georgian racing ahead to win the set and the tournament.
"He played very aggressive and now it's time to recover... and hopefully come back next year and try to get the title again."
Spectators were be required to present a contact tracing app, undergo temperature checks and wear masks at all times.