Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
 Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) def  Nikoloz Basilashvili -21- (GEO)
2-time Doha Champion Novak Djokovic needed 3-sets to take-out Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili on Thursday. While he’s advanced to his third straight Doha Semifinal, Novak hasn’t displayed the raw dominance he uncorked in 2016 — when he launced the new season with five successive straight-set victories, including a dominant defeat of Rafael Nadal in the Final.
The World #1 is having trouble establishing his rhythm in the opening set. In the previous round, Marton Fucsovic broke Djokovic late in the first, then snatched the set the following game. Tonight, Basilashvili broke Novak right out of the gate, then again before the third changeover.
But, as he’s done time and again, Novak recovered in both matches, resetting in set-2 to ultimately dig-out determined wins. One of the best examples of Djokovic-determination happened in 2017’s Semifinals, where Novak saved 5 match points against Fernando Verdasco en-route to his second Doha title.
This was the second meeting between Djokovic and Basilashvili. They last met on clay, 8-months-ago in the 2nd-Round of the Rome Masters. Novak won that match in two sets 64 62.
Up next for Novak Djokovic:  Roberto Bautista Agut -24- (ESP).
They’ve played 8-times since 2013. RBA’s one victory came in the Semifinals of the 2016 Shanghai Masters 64 64. Aside from that singular hiccup, Novak has won all of their previous best-of-three matches in straight sets. They’ve also played 3-times at the Slams — all Djokovic victories in four, including a 64 67(6) 76(4) 62 win in Roland Garros’ 3rd-Round last May.
 Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
What this man accomplished last year is nothing short of extraordinary. Injured at the start of the season, by May he fell outside the ATP top-20 for the first time in nearly 12-years…but he persevered. Over the Summer, he won his 13th Grand Slam Singles title at Wimbledon, then made tennis history in Cincinnati, defeating Roger Federer in the championship match to become the first player ever to earn the career Golden Masters. He then captured his 14th Major at the US Open, won the Shanghai Masters, and with a run the Paris Masters Final, regained the World #1 ranking for the first time in 2-years. Through to the Quarters after an epic comeback win over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics – From Serbia, please welcome 2-time Doha Champion and the #1 Player in the World, Novak Djokovic.
 Nikoloz Basilashvili -21- (GEO) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
Six-months-ago, this 26-year-old got red hot. At the ATP-500 event in Hamburg – as an 81st-ranked Qualifier – he won 7 consecutive matches to become the first player from Georgia ever to capture an ATP Tour-level title. At the US Open, he reached the Round of 16 at a Major for the first time, where he took World #1 Rafael Nadal to 4-sets. He then earned the biggest win of his career, defeating World #4 Juan Martin Del Potro in the Beijing Final, capturing his second ATP-500 title in just 3-months. Those two titles in the second half of the season catapulted him to a career-high ranking of #21 in the World. Competing in his 4th Qatar ExxonMobil Open, he’s through to the Quarterfinals for the first time. From Georgia, please welcome Nikoloz Basilashvili.
R2 def Andrey Rublev -68- (RUS) 63 64
R1 def Albert Ramos-Viñolas -65- (ESP) 61 16 61