Novak Djokovic fell to a surprise defeat in Doha on Friday, beaten in the Qatar Open semifinal by world number 24, Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-3, 6-7 (8/6), 6-4.
The world no 1 Serb fell to his first defeat of the season in a high-quality contest lasting more than two-and-a-half hours, which saw the Spaniard lose his first set of the week but come back to beat the world number one.
“What happened? I lost the match. That’s it,” a clearly frustrated Djokovic said in his post-match press conference.
Agut took Djokovic’s serve in the second game of the final set for the decisive break and secured victory on his first match point.
“I will remember this match for [the rest] of my life,” said the 30-year-old Spaniard.
He will play the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s final.
“I can’t be more happy than I am now.”
The second semifinal proved a much tamer affair as Berdych eased through to his second Doha final in straight sets, beating Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.
Currently the world number 73, Berdych’s previous Qatar Open final, in 2015, was also against a Spaniard, David Ferrer, and it ended in a straight sets defeat.