Veterans Djokovic, Berdych, and Wawrinka Contesting 2019 ATP Doha
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The 2019 ATP 250 in Doha, Qatar has Novak Djokovic as the star attraction (including a pairing with brother Marko for doubles), but resurgent veterans Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych are still gunning for the title and have advanced to the quarterfinals. What will the rest of the tournament hold?
Novak Djokovic vs Nikoloz BasilashviliEmbed from Getty Images
Both of the seeds advanced to the quarterfinals, with world #1 Djokovic heavily favored against Georgian #1 Basilashvili. Both players have dropped sets this week, with Djokovic’s lost set to Marton Fucsovics a massive surprise. Presuming he’s motivated Djokovic should be too good in this matchup though, after beating Damir Dzumhur and Fucsovics. Basilashvili defeated Albert Ramos and Andrey Rublev.
Stan Wawrinka vs Roberto Bautista AgutEmbed from Getty Images
Tennis fans would love to see a revitalized Wawrinka making waves on tour. The Swiss veteran has a great shot against steady baseliner Bautista Agut after he upset Karen Khachanov in straights and followed that upset with a win against Nicolas Jarry. RBA has been solid, dropping just 5 games in each match (wins against Matteo Berrettini and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez). Wawrinka should be highly motivated though and I have a feeling he’ll rise to the occasion and notch an upset.
Dusan Lajovic vs Marco CecchinatoEmbed from Getty Images
Wins against Adrian Mannarino and Ricardas Berankis have lifted Lajovic to the quarters while Marco Cecchinato eased past Sergiy Stakhovsky and then got a walkover into the quarters. Cecchinato is still learning the ropes on hard courts, and though he’s very talented, Lajovic should have a slight edge.
Tomas Berdych vs Pierre-Hugues HerbertEmbed from Getty Images
Both of these players have been disappointing lately, Berdych has been injured and considered retirement, but now he’s come back and earned wins against crafty veterans Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco. PHH hopes to improve as a singles player this year and a stunning win against a listless Dominic Thiem, followed up by a three set tiebreak win against Max Marterer, will give him a lot of confidence heading into this matchup. Berdych is hard to read right now but he should be favored if he’s fit.
Djokovic d. Wawrinka
Berdych d. Lajovic
This is Djokovic’s title to lose, but if he loses interest Wawrinka or RBA will benefit. I expect Berdych to make a run to the final at this point and fall just short, in what would be a huge result for him.
Djokovic d. Berdych