ATP Doha: Roger Federer loses tight encounter to Nikoloz Basilasvhili



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ATP Doha: Roger Federer loses tight encounter to Nikoloz Basilasvhili

Facing each other for the second time, Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Roger Federer 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in an hour and 49 minutes in the Doha second round. The Georgian got broken once and secured three breaks in sets two and three that carried him over the top, sending Roger out in his comeback tournament.

Federer saved a break point in the opening game after forcing Basilashvili's error and held to avoid an early setback. The Georgian needed three deuces in game two to bring it home and make his name on the scoreboard with a mighty forehand.

Roger landed two unreturned serves at 30-30 in game three to remain in front and landed a perfect backhand down the line winner in the next one to grab a break and open a 3-1 advantage. Serving to confirm the edge, the Swiss fired two winners to fend off break chances in game five and closed it after four deuces and Nikoloz's forehand mistake for a 4-1 lead.

Basilashvili held with a service winner in game six to reduce the deficit before Federer landed an unreturned serve for a hold at 15 and 5-2. Nikoloz prolonged the set with an ace in game eight, and it was all we saw from him in the opener after Roger hit an ace in game nine for 6-3 in 37 minutes.

The Georgian placed a forehand winner in the second set's first game and clinched his first break in game two with a backhand down the line winner. Serving at 2-0, Nikoloz fired four winners to defend three break chances and make a hold for 3-0.

Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Roger Federer in three sets in Doha.

The Swiss earned the fourth game with an ace to reduce the deficit before the Georgian secured the next one with a forehand winner that kept him in front.

Basilashvili made another forehand winner in game six for a break chance and converted it to open a 5-1 gap. Controlling the pace, Nikoloz held after deuce with another forehand winner to take the set 6-1 and gain momentum ahead of the decider.

The returners barely lost a couple of points in the third set's opening five games, and Nikoloz held at love to level the score at 3-3. The Georgian earned a break chance in game seven after forcing Federer's error, denied by a crafty slice from the Swiss, who saved two more break chances and closed the game with a volley winner for a massive hold.

Nikoloz held at love in game eight to remain in touch before Roger fired four quick serves to grab another game and open a 5-4 gap. With no room for errors, Basilashvili saved a match point in game ten to lock the result at 5-5 and increase the drama.

Delivering strong returns, Nikoloz broke Roger at 15 in game 11 and sealed the deal with a backhand crosscourt winner a few minutes later.