World No. 42 Nikoloz Basilashvili acknowledged that this year's ATP event in Doha was one the toughest he has ever seen. Basilashvili stunned No. 5 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5) 6-2 to lift his maiden Doha title. The match was played in windy conditions and it was extremely tough for both player.
"I am somehow managing to play good in tougher conditions and tougher matches,” said Basilashvili, per the ATP website. “This tournament was one of the toughest ATP 250s I have ever seen, probably. We had three Top 10 players.
It is interesting [to ask] why I am playing good in the big tournaments and big matches. [It is] surprising. At the same time, [I am] happy”.
Basilashvili didn't expect to win Doha
Prior to Doha, Basilashvili was on a five-match losing streak and he wasn't one of the favorites to win Doha.
Basilashvili beat John Millman, Malek Jaziri, Roger Federer, Taylor Fritz and Bautista Agut en route to winning Doha. “[I am] super happy. I was not expecting that but, at the same time, I was working a lot,” said Basilashvili.
“I was feeling good on the court. I was playing the last half a year with a lot of stress in my body. I was not able to put 100 per cent on the court in any matches. This week, I somehow found a way to deal with the stressful moments.
I am very happy to get through [to the title]”. Basilashvili showed great mental strength against Bautista Agut. “[There were] very strong gusts today, but I had good mindset. From the beginning, I was accepting things very good,” said Basilashvili.
“I was concentrated on just playing the game and just looking at the ball and moving a lot. It was tough physically, as well, because for sure you have to move twice as hard and I managed that”.