Czech Teenager Jakub Mensik Stuns Top Seed Andrey Rublev At Qatar Open

Czech teenager Jakub Mensik stunned top seed Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Qatar Open on Thursday to reach his maiden ATP semi-final and guarantee a spot in the world’s top 100 for the first time. The 18-year-old came through 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) against the fifth-ranked Rublev, a day after defeating three-time Grand Slam title winner Andy Murray. “It’s just been an incredible week. From the beginning I played very well and I knew I could play with the big players. It’s an amazing feeling to reach the semi-finals after beating those good players,” said wildcard Mensik who arrived in the Gulf ranked at 116.

“But the job is not done yet. Hopefully I can play like this again in the semis and go on to make the final.”

With his one-hour, 38-minute win on Thursday, Mensik became the youngest player to defeat a top-five player since Carlos Alcaraz overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 US Open.

Mensik will face 2018 champion Gael Monfils for a place in Saturday’s final after the veteran won an all-French affair by beating third seed Ugo Humbert 6-2, 6-4.

Monfils is the oldest semi-finalist in Qatar tournament history aged 37 years and five months.

The other semi-final will see Australia’s Alexei Popyrin face Russian second seed Karen Khachanov.

Popyrin eased past Kazakh fourth seed Alexander Bublik 6-4, 6-4 while Khachanov went through when Finnish opponent Emil Ruusuvuori retired with a back injury after just three games.

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