Rublev vs. Mensik, Khachanov vs. Ruusuvuori

Rublev vs. Mensik, Khachanov vs. Ruusuvuori

Emil Ruusuvuori
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Fellow Russians, top seeds, and Doha doubles partners Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are part of the singles quarterfinals on Thursday. Rublev is going up against Jakub Mensik, while Khachanov is facing Emil Ruusuvuori.

(1) Andrey Rublev vs. Jakub Mensik

Rublev has been to the final of the Qatar ExxonMobile Open twice and is a former champion (2020). The fifth-ranked Russian has a great chance to win the falcon trophy for a second time as the top seed and without question the best player in the 2024 field. Rublev started his week in dominant fashion, destroying Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 in a mere 56 minutes while improving to 11-2 for the season.

Up next for Rublev in the quarterfinals on Thursday is Mensik, who took a much different route to the last eight. After beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6(3), 6-4, the 18-year-old outlasted Andy Murray 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 7-6(4) after three hours and 23 minutes on Wednesday evening. This is hardly a surprising effort by Mensik, who just reached the second round of the Australian Open as a qualifier and pushed Hubert Hurkacz to five sets. The Czech is one of the tour’s rising stars, but this is a tough ask for him with Rublev on the other side of the net and having just endured a marathon against Murray.

Pick: Rublev in 2

Emil Ruusuvuori vs. (2) Karen Khachanov

Khachanov and Ruusuvuori will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the second time in Doha when they meet again on Thursday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-1 in favor of Khachanov, who won their 2022 Doha second-round encounter 7-6(4), 6-3. However, Ruusuvuori got the best of their most recent showdown 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-2 earlier this season in Hong Kong.

Ruusuvuori ended up reaching the final in Hong Kong (lost to Andrey Rublev) and he is coming off a quarterfinal performance in Rotterdam. The 43rd-ranked Finn is now 11-4 in 2024 following Doha victories over Giulio Zeppieri and Christopher O’Connell, both in straight sets. Khachanov followed up a first-round bye with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat of Fabian Marozsan, improving to 6-3 for the season. With Ruusuvuori in great form and having won their matchup last month, the second-seeded Russian could once again be on upset alert.

Pick: Ruusuvuori in 3

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