The quarter-finals of the 2019 ExxonMobil Qatar Open will feature the World Number One and top seed Novak Djokovic against the fifth seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha.
Watch & bet on Novak Djokovic v Nikoloz Basilashvili live in the ATP Qatar Open with bet365 here* on Thursday, January 3. The Djokovic v Basilashvili quarterfinal will begin around 5:30 pm local time (2.30 pm GMT)
Djokovic v Basilashvili Head to Head
The pair have met once before at the Rome Masters on clay last year, when Djokovic won a round 32 clash 6-4, 6-2. That was on clay and this will be on a hard court surface.
Their Performances so Far
Basilashvili, the world number 21 player, will go into the match as underdog, but he is not to be underestimated, having won 2 ATP titles in 2018, in Germany on clay and, perhaps more significantly for this match, the China Open in October which was played on hard courts, just like Qatar, beating Juan Martin del Potro in the final in straight sets.
He had a tough battle to get past Spaniard Albert Ramos Viňolas in the first round in Doha, but made comparatively short work of Russian Andrey Rublev in his last 16 match, beating the world number 31 in straight sets.
By contrast, Djokovic, who breezed past Bosnia’s Damir Džumhur in just 55 minutes on Tuesday, was made to work much harder for victory against Hungarian Márton Fucsovics, dropping the first set to the world number 36, and having a tough fight in the second, before running away with it 6–1 in the third.
Djokovic v Basilashvili, Who Will Win?
Whilst Basilashvili will go into the match as the underdog, he should not be taken lightly, and could cause an upset if the Serb is not on his game.
However, the tournament has opened-up for Djokovic, after the surprise first-round losses of second seed, Dominic Thiem, who went down to Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and third-seed Karen Khachanov, beaten by three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka.
With sixth seed David Goffin also eliminated, the highest ranked player left in the draw is Italian Marc Cecchinato, ranked 20th in the world, who enjoyed a walk- over into the quarter-final after his opponent Guido Pella was forced to withdraw.
More broadly, Djokovic will have been cheered by the news from Australia, with Rafael Nadal struggling to be fit for Melbourne after pulling out of the Brisbane International with a thigh problem. At the moment, the stars appear to be aligning in his favour.
You can watch & bet on Novak Djokovic v Nikoloz Basilashvili live in the Qatar Open with bet365 on Thursday, January 3.