ANI Photo | Qatar Open: Jakub Mensik fends off Gael Monfils challenge, advances to first ATP Tour final in Doha

The 18-year-old Jakub Mensik continued his red-hot form at the Qatar Open when he produced a masterclass performance to beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, becoming the youngest finalist in tournament history.
Mensik, who is competing in just his third tour-level event, won his first Top 5 match against Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. On Monday, he will make his ATP Rankings debut in the Top 100.
The Czech tennis player outperformed Monfils once more with a strong showing. After faltering in the second set, he bounced back to win the third set in one hour and forty-eight minutes, slamming the ball with precise time from both wings to become the youngest tour-level finalist since Carlos Alcaraz in Umag in 2021.
“It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far. Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game,” Mensik said as quoted by ATP.
“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless,” he added.
Mensik consistently struck the ball effectively against Monfils, who attempted to break the Czech’s rhythm with the drop shot. Mensik took the third set 4-3, winning on break point with a brilliant backhand winner down the line.
After saving nine out of twelve break points, the eighteen-year-old held serve to win. Mensik erupted in celebration of his victory, and he and Monfils hugged each other at the net.
“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showmen on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future, we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him,” Mensik said.
Mensik will aim to extend his lead and lift his first tour-level trophy when he encounters Karen Khachanov on Saturday in a championship match. (ANI)

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