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.
20-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic won the only Quarterfinal completed on Thursday, ending Marton Fucsovics’ run in just under an hour. The Serb will face Andrey Rublev later tonight, after the 2018 Finalist dispatched Pierre-Hugues Herbert earlier today on Court-1.
Corentin Moutet 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 Center Court, 20-year-old French Qualifier Corentin Moutet remained hot. He’s won five consecutive matches to start the season. And tonight, he’ll face 3-time Grand Slam Champion Stan Wawrinka for a spot in his first career Tour-level Final.
Fearless, scrappy, strategic and creative – there’s no question, Moutet’s matches have been the most entertaining contests of the tournament. His legion of French followers in Doha hunger for more.
[Q] Corentin Moutet -81- (FRA) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
A Qualifier ranked outside the top-80, last night this 20-year-old ATP Next Gen Southpaw upset World #3 Milos Raonic to reach tonight’s Quarterfinal. Last season, he earned his biggest ATP Tour victory to date at Roland Garros – upsetting World #23 Guido Pella to reach the 3rd-Round of a Major for the first time. A week later, he captured his 4th Challenger Tour Singles title in Lyon and cracked the ATP’s top-100. Already with 4 wins under his belt to start the new season, he is through to Doha Quarterfinals in his Qatar ExxonMobil Open debut – From France, this is Corentin Moutet.
▲ QF — def Fernando Verdasco -49- (ESP) | Score: 64 46 64
▲ R2 — def  Milos Raonic -32- (CAN) | Score: 76(3) 76(4) | RECAP
▲ R1 — def Tennys Sandgren -68- (USA) | Score: 76(3) 64 | RECAP
▲ QR2 — def Alexei Popyrin -97- (AUS) | Score: 62 64 | RECAP
▲ QR1 — def Andrej Martin -107- (SVK) | Score: 64 64 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Corentin Moutet
Like most French talents, Corentin Moutet is a solid clay courter. Last May, he cracked the ATP’s top-100 for the first time after a tremendous 3-weeks. At Roland Garros, he reached the 3rd-Round of a Grand Slam for the first time, upsetting Guido Pella in the 2nd-Round. After losing a tough 5-setter to Juan Ignacio Londero, he hopped a train back to Lyon where he won his 4th ATP Challenger title.
At Wimbledon, he won his first three Grand Slam Qualifying matches, then took-out Grigor Dimitrov on Day-1. It was mojo-boosting victory. Down 2-sets to love, Moutet won the third in a tiebreak, allowing Grigor only four games the rest of the way. Though he fell to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Round-2 – by the end of the fortnight, the Frenchman climbed to a career-high ranking of World #80.
A gifted piano player, keep an eye on the maestro in 2020.
Fernando Verdasco -49- (ESP) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
Last night, he earned a deciding set victory over the 6-seed Filip Krajinovic, and is back in the Doha Quarterfinals for a second time. He is 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’s an Australian Open Semifinalist, 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.
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.