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Qatar Open: Czech teenager Mensik stuns top seed Rublev to reach maiden ATP semifinal

Czech teenager Jakub Mensik stunned top seed Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Qatar Open on Thursday to reach his maiden ATP semifinal 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.”

Also read | Pune Challenger 2024: Niki Poonacha stuns top seed Sumit Nagal, reaches quarterfinals

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 Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils, who meet later in an all-French quarter-final, for a place in Saturday’s final.

The other semifinal 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 an injury after just three games.

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