Doha has seen its fair share of surprises this week, but like every tournament on the week 1 schedule, it has been left with a noteworthy final. Here is my preview for the final and predictions for Brisbane and Chennai semi-finals.
Rafael Nadal has avoided the upset train although his performances have certainly not been near his sparkling best. He was clinical in gaining revenge over Lukas Rosol in round one and maintaining his winning streak against Ernests Gulbis in the quarter-finals. However neither were straightforward along with his second round match with Tobias Kamke and his semi-final match with Peter Gojowczyk where the Spaniard was twice pushed to three sets. A shout out to Gojowczyk (whose name I have now learnt to spell without having to check) who had a rather magical week coming through qualifying and challenging the world number one.
On the other side of the draw, Gael Monfils has rather sauntered through the draw. In the second round, he defeated an injured Richard Gasquet and then yesterday, overturned a 0-3 head-to-head deficit to Daniel Brands (who had beaten him 6-1 7-5 in Doha last year) in rather convincing fashion. Today, Monfils beat Andy Murray‘s conqueror, Florian Mayer with another great performance, 6-3 6-2.
Unlike many match-ups including Nadal, there are legitimate reasons to suggest that Monfils has a chance in this one. Monfils has beaten Nadal on two occasions and rather strangely, both of those came in Doha (and in straight sets). The Frenchman has looked extremely impressive this week and it really is great to see him playing such consistent tennis because he could be one of the biggest stars on tour if he could fully harness his potential and stay free from injuries. I have not been impressed with Nadal this week, but it is hard to write off the Spaniard and I think he has a lot to play for with a first ever title in Doha up for grabs.
Prediction: Nadal to beat Monfils in 3 sets
ATP Brisbane Semi-Final Predictions
Roger Federer to beat Jeremy Chardy in 2 set
Kei Nishikori to beat Lleyton Hewitt in 3 sets
ATP Chennai Semi-Final Predictions
Stanislas Wawrinka to beat Vasek Pospisil in 3 sets
Marcel Granollers to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 3 sets