Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
Fernando Verdasco returns to the Quarterfinals
Doha resident Fernando Verdasco continues to excel on his adopted home court. The 2017 Semifinalist knew he needed to grind and rely on his fitness against the younger Krajinovic. The Serb is dangerous, especially when down. Two months ago in Metz, Verdasco lost a 2nd-Rounder to the Serb after comfortably winning set-1.
It was important to get balls back, be patient, make Filip move, and crush his will – the 6-seed had already spent over 2-hours on court against Kyle Edmund in Monday night’s opener. For the most part, everything went according to plan and playbook.
Verdasco took the first with a late break. Krajinovic launched a comeback in the second. But this time, it was Filip who crushed his own will – giving up an early break with a doubles fault. In blink, Verdasco was 2-0 to start the season.
Fernando Verdasco gets even with Filip Krajinovic
After taking the lead with a late break in set-1, Verdasco knew he wasn’t out of the woods. Two months ago in Metz, Krajinovic overcame a set deficit to win their debut clash.
► 2020. Verdasco – Score: 75 46 60 – Doha (R16)
► 2019. Krajinovic – Score: 36 64 63 – Metz (R16)
Fernando Verdasco -49- (ESP)| Round-2 Announcer Introduction
In Round-1, he dispatched Pablo Andujar to reach tonight’s Round of 16 match. A 3-time Davis Cup Champion, he has amassed 7 ATP Singles titles, 8 Doubles titles, won the year-end Doubles Championship at the ATP Finals, and has been ranked as high as World #7. He was a Semifinalist at the 2009 Australian Open, is a 23-time Finalist on Tour, and owns 15 career top-5 victories – including wins over Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. A fan favorite here in Doha, with a home at the Pearl – From Spain, he is 2017 Doha Semifinalist Fernando Verdasco.
▲ R2 — def  Filip Krajinovic -40- (SRB) | Score: 75 46 60
▲ R1 — def Pablo Andujar -64- (ESP) | Score: 64 63 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Fernando Verdasco
Don’t discount the enduring stamina of 36-year-old Fernando Verdasco. The Madrid native has been a Doha resident for years, with a place in The Pearl just north of Doha’s City Center. He knows these courts better than most on Tour, and always sleeps in his own bed during week-1 of the season. In 2017, he reached the Semifinals in both Singles and Doubles. In fact, he had 5 match points against champion Novak Djokovic before a crushing collapse in set-2’s tiebreak.
The tenacious Southpaw may not be the imposing threat he was 11-years-ago when he reached the Australian Open Semifinals, but he can still be a foil for tennis’ top talent. Just ask Karen Khachanov, who Fernando beat twice in back-to-back clay Masters events last season. Or Dominic Thiem, who fell to Verdasco in Rome’s 2nd-Round.
While Fernando’s concentration has been known to buckle under pressure, no one doubts his competitive passion and ability to grind. The man has competed in 66 consecutive Majors – the second longest active streak on the ATP Tour – behind Feliciano Lopez at 71. Last season at Wimbledon, he reached the Final-16 of a Grand Slam for the 18th time. And though he fell in Round-2 at the US Open, Verdasco pushed Hyeon Chung to a deciding-set tiebreak. Like last year’s Doha champion, Roberto Bautista Agut, Fernando Verdasco is a relentless machine.
 Filip Krajinovic -40- (SRB) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction
In Round-1, down a set, he came-back to defeat former World #14 Kyle Edmund to reach tonight’s 2nd-Round. A 3-time ATP Tour Finalist, he owns 10 Challenger Tour Singles titles, is a Davis Cup Semifinalist, and has been ranked as high World #26. His breakthrough season came in 2017, where he jumped over 200-points in the rankings – winning 5 Challenger titles, and reaching his first Tour-level Final at the Paris Masters. Last season, he was a Finalist twice more – and delivered career-best runs at the Majors, reaching the 3rd-Rounds of both the Australian and French Opens. Competing in his 4th Qatar ExxonMobil Open – From Serbia, this is Filip Krajinovic.
▼ R2 — loss Fernando Verdasco -49- (ESP) | Score: 57 64 06
▲ R1 — def Kyle Edmund -69- (GBR) | Score: 46 63 63 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Filip Krajinovic
Like so many on Tour, Filip spent his Junior career training out of Bradenton, Florida. He first found the spotlight as an 18-year-old, local upstart at the 2010 Serbian Open. A Wild Card, ranked outside the top-300, he earned a pair of deciding-set victories in the first two rounds, only to face World #2 Novak Djokovic in the Quarterfinals. Injured, Novak retired after losing the first set, and Krajinovic earned a spot in his first Tour level Semifinal. American Sam Querrey ended his Cinderella run in straight sets.
In 2015, Filip teamed with Novak Djokovic here in Doha and reached the Doubles Semifinals, where the tandem fell to eventual champions Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco. But Krajinovic’s breakthrough season came in 2017. That year, he won 5 ATP Challenger Tour titles, climbing the rankings ladder hand-over-fist. In his final event, he reached the Final of the Paris Masters as a qualifier – winning six matches and avoiding a clash with Rafael Nadal, who retired before their Quarterfinal. Though he lost the championship match to Jack Sock, the week in Paris was a tremendous bookend to a season that saw him leap from World #235 during week-1, to World #34 by season’s end.
After an injury riddled 2018 – last year, Filip’s challenge was to reestablish his top-50 status. With determination and focus, he delivered. In Melbourne, he reached the 3rd-Round of a Major for the first time, then did it again at Roland Garros. During the Spring, when his ranking dropped outside the top-100, he accepted the fact that he needed more matches under his belt, and embraced the Challenger circuit. He reached the Final of the Mouratoglou Open and won his 10th Challenger title in Heilbronn. As a qualifier in Budapest, he reached his 2nd Tour-level Final. Then in October, reached his 3rd in Stockholm. Again, with work-ethic and poise, Krajinovic stormed up the rankings ladder to finish the season as the World #40.