Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
Rain-delayed Quarterfinal Victory
Thursday’s rain completely derailed the 2020 Qatar ExxonMobil Open schedule. Yesterday, thunderstorms washed-out three of the four Quarterfinals, including this one.
Aware of the forecast – yesterday afternoon, organizers moved the match to Court-1. However, two games in, unrelenting rain sent Rublev and Herbert back to the hotel for the night.
20-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic won the only Quarterfinal completed on Thursday, ending Marton Fucsovics’ run in just under an hour.
Andrey Rublev advances to the Semifinals | Will play again TONIGHT
With only two days left to complete the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the remaining players have no alternative. All three of today’s Quarterfinal winners play again tonight for a shot in the Final. Additionally, both Doubles Semifinal victors will pull “double duty,” returning tonight for the Doubles Championship.
In today’s opening match on Court-1, Rublev and Herbert resumed their first career meeting at 1-all. Despite an early hiccup, Andrey recovered quickly – dispatching Pierre-Hugues Herbert behind four breaks in 2-sets. 2018’s Finalist will be back on Court tonight to face a rested Miomir Kecmanovic.
 Andrey Rublev -23- (RUS)| Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
The #2-seed in this year’s Draw, yesterday he earned a straight-sets win over Mikhail Kukushkin to return to the Doha Quarterfinals. Last Summer in Cincinnati, he defeated Roger Federer to reach his first Masters-1000 Quarterfinal. At the US Open, he upset World #8 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Opening Round. He went on to capture his second ATP Tour Singles title in Moscow, climbed to a career-high ranking of World #22, and helped lift Russia to the Davis Cup Semifinals in Madrid. Competing in his 3rd Qatar ExxonMobil Open – 2-years-ago, he reached the championship match in his Doha debut. From Russia – This is Andrey Rublev.
▲ QF — def Pierre-Hugues Herbert -65- (FRA) | Score: 64 63
▲ R2 — def Mikhail Kukushkin -66- (KAZ) | Score: 64 62 | RECAP
▲ R1 — BYE
Announcer Corner | Andrey Rublev
Injured for 2-months of the clay season last year, Andrey Rublev returned like a player possessed. He earned 4 of his 5 top-10 victories during the second half of the 2019 season, including victories over Dominic Thiem in Hamburg, Roger Federer in Cincinatti, Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open, and Roberto Bautista Agut in Davis Cup. Rublev started 2019 as the World #68, dropped outside the top-100 in February – but recovered to end the season as the World #23. Impressive comeback, indeed.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert -65- (FRA) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
He is the reigning ATP Finals Doubles Champion – and with 4 Major Doubles titles, owns the Career Grand Slam. But make no mistake, with lightening quick reflexes at the net – with or without a partner – he is a significant threat. Last year on this court, he upset World #8 Dominic Thiem and reached the Quarterfinals in his Doha debut. In Doubles, he and David Goffin reached their first Final together since Juniors, and captured the Doha title in a Championship tiebreak. A Davis Cup Champion, he’s a 3-time ATP Tour Singles Finalist, with 17 career Doubles titles. From France – This is 2019 Doha Doubles Champion, Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Announcer Corner | Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Intelligent, versatile and one hell of an athlete — Pierre-Hugues Herbert is on an absolute tear. In Doubles last season, the 28-year-old completed the career Grand Slam with partner Nicolas Mahut. After their Australian Open triumph, the two became one of only eight teams in tennis history to capture all four Majors. Not shockingly, it was Herbart’s second title of the young season. Two weeks earlier, he teamed with David Goffin to win Doha. Mahut and Herbert then capped the season by winning two more trophies together: Their 7th Masters title in Paris and the Doubles title at the year-end ATP Finals.
During the past two seasons Herbert has also been proficient without a partner. In 2018, he earned 24 Singles victories. Last year: 22. A run that started here in Doha with an upset victory over World #8 Dominic Thiem. At the Australian Open, he reached Round-3 of a Major for the fourth time, then battled past names like Shapovalov and Berdych to reach his 3rd career Singles Final in Montpellier. He climbed to a career-high ranking of World #36, upset World #6 Kei Nishikori at the Monte Carlo Masters and made a run to the Budpest Semifinals a week later.
A 17-time Doubles champion with 4 Majors and 7 Masters-1000 trophies, Pierre-Hugues’ doubles accolades will always precede him. But let’s be honest, the lightning quick net-minder is a significant threat in both disciplines.