Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2016: Friday Tennis Scores, Results & Updated Schedule | Launderer’s report


Alexandra Panagiotidou/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal destroyed Ilya Marchenko in the semi-finals of the 2016 ExxonMobil Qatar Open on Friday as the icon prevailed in style, winning 6-3, 6-4 to set up a lavish finale with Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard was the most destructive and confident at the start of the match, and the Ukrainian struggled to keep pace with his opponent. Djokovic was not at his best as he beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets, earning a 6-3, 7-6 win in a scrappy display by his standards.

Nadal will feature in his 99th career final when he faces the best player in the world, for Fox Sports.

The final is scheduled for Saturday from 15:00 GMT and promises to be exciting.

Here are the contest scores from Friday’s semi-finals:

Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2016: semi-final results
Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 Ilya Marchenko
Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 Tomas Berdych

Friday recap

Nadal departed at a frightening pace as he picked up a solid victory against Marchenko in Doha. The legend handled his opponent’s big serve, using his experience and full repertoire to nullify much of Marchenko offensive.

The two players had never faced each other before, and the world number 94 had no answer to Nadal’s early onslaught.

The Spaniard won the first set in just over half an hour winning 100% of first service points, according to

Nadal won the first three games by creating distance between himself and Marchenko, who was failing to show his form from the start of the tournament.

Alexandra Panagiotidou/Associated Press

The Ukrainian recovered to hold serve for the rest of the first set, but the damage was done as he gave ground to the legend.

Nadal looked relaxed in the second as he continued a fine display, but he didn’t need to rev up his game to fight his way to victory.

At 2-2 in seconds, Marchenko dropped his serve to the Spaniard, and Nadal no longer needed an invitation to make it to the finish line as the crowd wildly cheered the popular world No. 5.

Pau Ferragut of Radio Marca commented on Nadal’s consistency:

Pau Ferragut @PauFerragut

#Nadal won 22 first service points in a row against Marchenko. I don’t remember if it’s the first time in his career. Surprising!

Pau Ferragut @PauFerragut

Solid on serve, hitting aggressively near the line and trying to play deep & heavy shots. This is how we want to see #Nadal on the court.

The Spaniard’s backhand improved a lot from the quarter-final as he controlled his power and accuracy, and he raced 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the final.

After the match, Nadal commented on his fine performance, as quoted by tennis columnist Reem Abulleil:

Reem Abulleil @Reem Abulleil

Nadal: Very happy with how I was able to change the dynamics of the match #QatarOpen

It was a story of two halves for Djokovic in his first set against Berdych, because he produced both the ridiculous and the sublime.

The Serb inexplicably dropped his serve in the first game of the former as Berdych took a 3-1 lead.

However, the world No.1 came to life after an abject first performance to go through the next five games, winning the set 6-3 after beating the Czech twice.

Despite the incredible return, Djokovic continued to struggle with his game, but Berdych couldn’t exploit his rival’s bad day at the office.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer as they compete in their tennis match at the Qatar Open on January 7, 2016 in Doha.  AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR / AFP / KARIM JAAFAR (Photo credit should read KARI


The second set continued with serve, giving Berdych a 3-2 lead, but the Serb looked uncomfortable throughout.

Djokovic held his own as his opponent urged on the pressure and managed to stay in the set, making it 5-5. Berdych managed to take his own service game in impressive fashion and once again put the multiple Grand Slam winner back on his heels. However, the Serb survived to force the tie-break, as his opponent nearly leveled the scores.

Djokovic took the first four points of the tiebreak, and changed gears again after a neat set. The best player in the world produced an academic display to get over the line, taking the tie-break 7-3, completing a 6-3, 7-6 win that was marred by unusual errors.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in their tennis match at the Qatar Open on January 7, 2016 in Doha.  Djokovic won the match 6-3, 7-5.  AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR / AFP / KARIM JAAFAR (Photo c


Nadal fought hard to replicate his best form after injury and proved in Doha that he was close to his best Grand Slam conditioning.

It was the player’s best serving performance in several months, and he will feel he has enough in the tank to win the Qatar Open title.

However, Djokovic looked well off the pace on Friday and could have lost to Berdych had he failed to produce two major bursts of form in the two individual sets.

The Serbian’s pedigree means he can find some extra gear in Saturday’s final, but Nadal will truly believe he can claim the title in his 99th career final.

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