All photos by Ray Toh
In a surprise defeat, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal failed to advance past the first round of the 2015 Qatar ExxonMobil Open yesterday.
The World No. 3, who won last year’s tournament, was defeated by Michael Berrer of Germany, who is ranked 127th and is playing the final tournament of his career.
Berrer will face Croatian Ivan Dodig in the second round.
According to ATP World Tour, this was Nadal’s first match after ending the 2014 season early to undergo appendix surgery in November.
Following the match, the Spaniard was quoted as saying:
“I had a bad game in the third and the fourth one in the second set. He broke me. After that everything changed.
He played well. I was playing with more nerves than usual after that as after long time I wanted to win. I knew that winning a couple of matches here will help me. So that made me play under a bit more tension.”
For his part, Berrer said:
“It is really unbelievable… But let’s be honest. It was the first match for Rafa after many months due to injury. We have to be realistic. But for me, great! One more year on the Tour, started good.”
Meanwhile, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic comfortably made it into the second round, despite withdrawing from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship final in Abu Dhabi last week due to the flu.
Play resumes today at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex this afternoon.
Have you been following the tournament? Thoughts?
Have you seen how empty the seats are for such fine players… around the world ppl are begging for tickets to see them and here.. Qatari’s hold on to the tickets or give them to friends who never use them.. wake up ppl.. u don’t wanna go give the tickets to ppl who would love to go..Such a shame these federations are so corrupt…
I don’t think it’s corruption, I believe it’s apathy. And traffic.
A lot of people remain away on holidays at the moment. But mostly I would put it down to traffic – both traffic problems to reach the venue, and a lack of organized, user friendly parking at venue. In other countries to attend similar events I would take a bus/train/light rail, but at the moment in Qatar these options don’t yet exist.
I still believe it is corruption. We live very close to most of these venues.. the tickets are booked for corporate or Qatari VIP’s who later won’t use them and thus empty seats… Last year the Tennis Federation had to actually beg ppl to go to the tennis and started handing out free tickets coz the public could not obtain them or if they were they were the worst seats in the stadium. They need to promote better and easier access to tickets.
The place got more packed later that night, It wasn’t that empty..
Apathy, yes. But the best seats are taken by government companies as well as large private companies, and Joe or Ahmed Public can only get the few remaining. If you go down to the courts, you can get tickets, but not for the final, semis, or quarters, but even the ones you can get will only be high up, not in good positions. My experience, anyway.
Before Jokovich withdrew, I got tickets for the Abu Dhabi final at 4pm on Saturday.
AED 300/- per ticket.
Vast majority of workforce can’t afford that.
Qatar makes events more accessible – IF you can find out they are on and where.
If Qatar promoted more social and sporting events – concerts etc. – they will get better at the promotional side of things.
Read the peninsula … It’s in there if you can navigate around the KFC and LULU ads
Does anyone remember the disaster at the Asian Foot ball cup final in 2010? Thousands of people who purchased tickets for the event in advance were refused entry…
More like a few dozen… But point taken