Bautista Agut ends Rublev’s Qatar defence

Andrey Rublev’s Qatar Open title defence is over after being beaten in straight sets in the semi-finals by Roberto Bautista Agut.

Rublev, who was aiming for back-to-back titles after winning the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, went down 6-3 6-3 on Friday.

The Russian was in the unusual position of playing a semi-final without having spent a minute on court in the singles tournament following a bye and two walkovers, though he had been playing doubles.

Rublev served eight aces but still had his serve broken four times by Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut is into his second final of 2021 following a loss to David Goffin in Montpellier last month.

His win at the Qatar Open in January 2019 remains his most recent title on the tour.

The 13th-ranked Spanish player will face Nikoloz Basilashvili for the title in Saturday’s final after the Georgian beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Basilashvili is in his first final since July 2019 after a Qatar campaign which included a win over Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

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