TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Taylor Fritz meets Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Semi-Finals on Friday March 12th, 2021.
This is a very surprising Semi-Final here at the 2021 Qatar Open to say the least, and one that no one would have expected. Both American Taylor Fritz and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georga caused upsets in the Quarter-Finals and will be looking to build on those performances. Will it be Fritz advancing to his first ATP Final of the season? Or can the veteran Basilashvili reach his first Final in over two years? They both have built some serious momentum and it is sure to be an exciting match.
Taylor Fritz is currently ranked #33 in the ATP world rankings and has been playing some great tennis here at the 2021 Qatar Open. After a tight straight sets win over the dangerous Lorenzo Sonego in the First Round, he upset two consecutive seeds to reach thus far. In the Round of 16 he defeated number six seed David Goffin in three thrilling sets 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 in a match that had numerous momentum swings. He then stunned fourth seeded Denis Shapovalov, coming from a set down. Fritz played some very mature tennis, controlling the match and limiting his unforced errors in a very assured performance. He will be delighted to have avoided the legend Roger Federer, who was upset by his opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili. Taylor Fritz will be very confident here, knowing that a first ATP Final of 2021 is well within reach here in Doha.
Nikoloz Basilashvili has had some very poor results over the past two years, and will be delighted to be back in an ATP Semi-Final here at the 2021 Qatar Open. Once ranked as high as #16 in the world rankings, he currently finds himself at #42. If not for the frozen rankings he would be ranked much lower and he will be hoping that this will be the tournament that turns his fortunes around. After a hard-fought three set win over John Millman in the First Round, he cruised past Malek Jaziri in the Round of 16. This set up a Quarter-Final clash against Roger Federer, a match that very few would have given him any chance of winning. After losing the first set 6-3, he went into attack mode, playing with controlled aggression to take the second set 6-1. The third set was a very close one, with Federer having a match point but failing to close it out. Basilashvili was able to hold his nerve to close out a stunning victory, reaching his first ATP Semi-Final since winning the 2019 Hamburg title.
The two players have faced each other once before in 2017 in Chendgu, with Taylor Fritz winning in three sets to lead the head to head series 1-0. A lot has changed since then, and both men will be very hungry to reach the Final. Basilashvili in particular will be playing without pressure, and this has been a fantastic week for him no matter what the result here is. Taylor Fritz has enjoyed a solid start to the year, and is finally beginning to look like he is capable of living up to the huge expectations that have been placed on his shoulders by the American Public. This is sure to be a very entertaining match between two big hitters, and will likely come down to who can keep their emotions in check and the unforced error count low. While Nikoloz Basilashvili will be full of confidence after his Quarter-Final win, he has not played at this level for quite a long time and it is difficult to tell if he can maintain it. I expect a very close match, with Taylor Fritz advancing to the 2021 Qatar Open Final.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Taylor Fritz to win