Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
 Marco Cecchinato -20- (ITA) def Dusan Lajovic -48- (SRB)
After career-best seasons last year, 26-year-old Marco Cecchinato and 28-year-old Dusan Lajovic both scored a major opportunity in their opening campaigns of the 2019 season. Marco dispatched qualifier Sergiy Stakovsky in Round-1, then enjoyed an additional day of rest thanks to Guido Pella’s withdrawal before the Round of 16.
Meanwhile, Dusan earned a hard-fought 1st-Round victory over Adrian Mannarino in anticipation of facing the #6-seed David Goffin. Instead, he got World #117 Richardis Berankis, who toppled the top Belgian in Round-1.
Tonight’s first set lived-up to the gravity of the moment. Both surging talents held serve the entire way, before Cecchinato went on an early-run in the tiebreak. In a blink, Lajovic was down 0-5 – and never recovered. With the Serbian deflated, Marco took charge in set-2 — breaking twice before the second changeover, earning the win in straight sets.
If Cecchinato can topple Berdych tomorrow, the Italian will reach his 3rd ATP Tour Final in less than a year. Not bad for a Challenger staple who – this time last year – had won only 4 matches at the ATP Tour level.
Tonight was the first Tour-level main-draw meeting between Cecchinato and Lajovic, but they’d faced each other three times before on the ATP Challenger Tour and in Qualifying. Each now owns two victories. Before tonight, Dusan Lajovic won their most recent clash in Round-1 of qualifying for the 2015 Rome Masters 76(3) 62.
Up next for Marco Cecchinato: [WC] Tomas Berdych -71- (CZE).
This will be Marco’s first stab at the 2010 Wimbledon Finalist, and it won’t be easy. Tomas is playing well in his first event in 6-months, and the Wild Card is beyond comfortable on this court. Tomas won the Doha Doubles title in his 2014 debut. A year later, he fell to David Ferrer in the championship match. In 2016 and 2017, he reached the Final-4.
 Marco Cecchinato -20- (ITA) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
This 26-year-old enjoyed a remarkable, breakthrough season last year. He started 2018 ranked outside the top-100, with only 4 ATP Tour-level match victories to his name. By October – he cracked the top-20 and climbed to a career-high ranking of World #19. So how’d he do it? First, he won his 5th ATP Challenger Tour Singles title in Santiago, Chile. Then – as a lucky loser in qualifying – he captured his first ATP Tour-level title in Budapest. At Roland Garros, he earned his first career top-10 victory – defeating World #9 David Goffin in the Round of 16 – then in the Quarters, stunned 2016 French Open Champion Novak Djokovic to become the first Italian Grand Slam Semifinalist in 40-years. He went-on win his second ATP Singles title in Umag, and ended the season as the World #20. Competing in his 4th Qatar ExxonMobil Open, from Italy – please welcome, Marco Cecchinato.
R2 def Guido Pella -58- (ARG) [walkover]
R1 def [Q] Sergiy Stakhovsky -135- (UKR) 64 62
Dusan Lajovic -48- (SRB) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
After a career-best season in 2018, this 28-year-old is back in Doha with a career-high ranking of World #48. And with victories over Adrian Mannarino and Ricardas Berankis, he’s through to the Quarterfinals for the first time. Last year, he dropped outside the top-100. But in April, went on an absolute tear. He captured his 6th ATP Challenger title in Guadaloupe, then earned the biggest win of his career in Madrid, defeating World #6 Juan Martin Del Potro en-route to his first Masters Quarterfinal. Over the Summer, he reached the 3rd-Round of the US Open for the first time, then picked up his second top-10 victory with a win over World #8 Grigor Dimitrov at the China Open. Competing in his 3rd Qatar ExxonMobil Open, from Serbia, please welcome Dusan Lajovic.
R2 def [Q] Ricardis Berankis -116- (LTU) 76(4) 06 75
R1 def Adrian Mannarino -42- (FRA) 63 76(5)