Djokovic rallies to overcome impressive Fucsovics in Doha

Marton Fucsovics produced a fine display, but Novak Djokovic fought back impressively to stay on track for a third title in Doha.

World number one Novak Djokovic   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic overcame a stern test from Marton Fucsovics to reach the last eight of the Qatar Open on Wednesday.

Fucsovics, coming off the back of a career-best season in 2018, deservedly claimed the opening set in Doha and initially proved equal to an improved effort in the second from the world number one.

However, Djokovic eventually claimed a break of serve to level the match and was clinical thereafter as he completed a 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory in two hours.

Djokovic - the winner of this event in 2016 and 2017 - has now won 12 matches in a row in Qatar and will face Andrey Rublev or Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals.

He had needed less than an hour to get past Damir Dzumhur in his first match of the week, but it was a very different story against Fucsovics, who started the stronger with his serve particularly impressive early on.

Two break points went begging for the underdog at 4-4, the second in stunning fashion as Djokovic somehow got out of trouble courtesy of a superb lob that was followed by a forehand winner.

A smiling Djokovic roused the crowd following that point, yet Fucsovics kept his cool to break at the third time of asking before serving out the set to move in front.

The Hungarian was also able to respond when Djokovic lifted his level in set two, repeatedly digging deep to stick with the 14-time grand slam champion.

Yet the top seed got back on level terms when Fucsovics stopped play to challenge a line call when facing set point on his own serve, only for HawkEye to show Djokovic had just clipped the baseline.

Djokovic duly raced into a 4-0 lead in the final set and, although a wilting Fucsovics retrieved one of the breaks, the end was not long in coming.