The Final Round of Doha Qualifying featured three comeback victories. It saw Sergiy Stakovsky become the only unseeded Qualifier to reach the main-draw. And it included a tight 2-set nail-biter between Ricardas Berankis and Paolo Lorenzi – which ultimately resulted in both players advancing to the main-draw.
Let’s dive in.
RESULTS | Qualifying Round-2. 30-December
Congrats to the Ukrainian. Sergiy is the only unseeded Qualifier to reach the main draw of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2019. And despite playing 3-sets on Court-2, his was the quickest Final Round Qualifier of the day.
Sergiy Stakhovsky -135- (UKR) def  Mirza Basic -88- (BIH) 36 62 63
T’was a rewarding win for Stakhovsky, as well. He last played Bosnian Mirza Basic at the Ortisei Challenger in November of 2014. Ranked World #304, Mirza Basic upset Sergiy (then the World #59) in a deciding set, after a second set tiebreak. Final: 36 76(4) 64.
Today was redemption.
With 3 breaks in sets 2 and 3 versus Basic’s single break in the first, Sergiy – who only won 5 of 11 ATP Tour-level matches last year, and capped the season by playing 3 Challengers – “qualified” in Doha for the first time. His biggest Qatar victory came in 2010, where as the World #60, he took-out 19th-ranked Mikhail Youzhny in the 1st-Round 76(11) 62.
Stakhovsky will face  Marco Cecchinato -20- (ITA) in the 1st-Round on Tuesday. The two have never played. Cecchinato is coming off a career-best season that saw him win his first two ATP Singles titles, upset David Goffin and Novak Djokovic to reach the Roland Garros Semifinals, and climb from World #109 to World #20.
Tuesday is a “big ask” for Sergiy – but then again, Doha is not clay. Looking forward to this one.
 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez -105- (ESP) def  Marcos Baghdatis -125- (CYP) 46 62 64
After his 1st-Round Qualifying win over Lukas Rosol -141- (CZE) 60 76(3), it was fun to surmise how fun it would be to see 2-time Doha Quarterfinalist Marcos Baghdatis (2006 2007) reach the main-draw after battling through Qualifying 12-years-later.
It wasn’t a pipe-dream.
Baghdatis secured the 1st-set on Center Court versus Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, but faded in sets 2 and 3. Guillermo earned 4 breaks to Marcos’s 2, and ultimately earned victory in the decider. Serving just to stay in the match, Baghdatis fell behind 15-40 and couldn’t recover. Garcia-Lopez got it done on the first match point.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez received a gift in the ensuing main-draw placement. The Spaniard will face 23-year-old local Wild Card Mubarak Shannan Zayid -1193- (QAT) on Tuesday for a spot in the Round of 16. A victory for the local favorite would be an astounding accomplishment. Guillermo will most-likely face Matteo Berrettini -54- (ITA) or  Roberto Bautista Agut -24- (ESP) for a spot in the 2019 Quarterfinals.
 Maximilian Marterer -74- (GER) def  Marco Trungelliti -122- (ARG) 46 64 75
Over on Court-3, the tournament’s top Qualifying seed – Max Marterer of Germany – dropped the first set against the #7-seed Marco Trugelliti.
The day developed a theme.
Rather than capitulate, the Deutschman from Nürnberg battled back, earned his only two breaks in sets 2 and 3, and earned the win on his second match-point while serving for the victory.
Max will face fellow German Peter Gojowczyk -59- (GER) in Round-1. It’s the final of three Monday matches on Court-2, and promises to be a “spannendes Spiel.” The two Krauts have never faced each other, even in Challenger or Futures events.
It is 23-year-old talent versus 29-year-old experience on Monday. That said, Gojowczyk was a Semifinalist here in Doha 5-years-ago. Back then, the current World #59 (then the World #162) battled through Qualifying and won 6 consecutive matches before falling in the Semifinals to eventual champion, Rafael Nadal.
 Ricardas Berankis -117- (LTU) def  Paolo Lorenzi -110- (ITA) 64 76(4)
Over on Court-2, Stakovsky and Basic played 3-sets in less time than it took Berankis and Lorenzi to play two on Court-1. Ricardas and Paolo locked horns in a tense 2-hour clash that came down to a second set tie-break. Lorenzi broke once, Berankis twice.
While Paolo fell in a second-set tiebreak, the good news for Lorenzi: After Felicino Lopez withdrew from the tournament on Saturday, a “lucky loser” position opened in the Draw. Tournament organizers rewarded that “LL” to Lorenzi shortly after the loss.
The bad news for Lorenzi: He will have to play the first main-draw match of the tournament on Center Court tomorrow versus Fernando Verdasco. After a tight 1-hour and 54-minutes with Berankis, that’s a tough ask. Even tougher when you learn that Paolo is 0-3 against Verdasco, including a 57 46 loss to the Spaniard last May in the Madrid Masters. Perhaps “time on court” will help. Stanger things have happened.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s winner [Q] Ricardas Berankis -117- (LTU) will face  David Goffin -22- (BEL) on Tuesday. The two have faced four times before. Berankis won their first two meetings in straight-sets during the Geneva Challenger Quarterfinals and the the 1st-Round of Qualifying for the 2012 Paris Masters.
Since then, Goffin has won their two ATP Tour-level matches in the Round of 16 at Chennai in 2015, and the 2nd-Round of the 2015 US Open. Both matches went the distance.
2015 US Open R2 – Goffin def Berankis 57 64 36 62 61
2015 Chennai R16 – Goffin def Berankis 60 46 76(1)
This match should be far more interesting than most would give it credit.
SCHEDULE | Main Draw Round-1. 31-December. 3:30pm
THE QUALIFIERS | Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2019
 Maximilian Marterer -74- (GER)
 Mirza Basic -88- (BIH)
 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez -105- (ESP)
 Paolo Lorenzi -110- (ITA) | [LL] Lucky Loser after falling to Ricardas Berankis
 Elias Ymer -116- (SWE) | replaced by [Alt] Gian Marco Moroni -215- (ITA)
 Ricardas Berankis -117- (LTU)
 Marco Trungelliti -122- (ARG)
 Marcos Baghdatis -125- (CYP)
Yannick Maden -127- (GER) | replaced by [Alt] James Ward -190- (GBR)
Matthias Bachinger -130- (GER)
Sergiy Stakhovsky -135- (UKR)
Lukas Rosol -141- (CZE)
Dennis Novak -142- (AUT)
Andrea Arnaboldi -180- (ITA)
[WC] Mousa Shanan Zayed -No Ranking- (QAT)
[WC] Jabor Al-Mutawa -No Ranking- (QAT)
[Withdrawal] Yannick Maden -127- (GER) | Shoulder Injury
[Withdrawal] Elias Ymer -116- (SWE) | Elbow Injury