Browsing 'Qatar Open' News

Rafael Nadal

Mohamed el Zawawy

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has claimed the Qatar ExxonMobil Open  title for the first time, beating Frenchman Gael Monfils in the 2014 tournament finale tonight.

With a score of 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 this evening at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, it is his 61st title, and the first time he has won a tournament in the opening week of the year.

“Beginnings of the season are important always because (it) seems like every time you start another season, seems like you start from zero again,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference. “Every victory is important, and (the) title today means a lot to me.”

Monfils beat Nadal at two previous encounters in Doha, but has yet to win the title itself, losing last year to fellow French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Doubles final

Yesterday, Tomas Berdych and Jan Hajek from the Czech Republic won the doubles title against Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares with a score of 6-2, 6-4.

This year’s edition of the tournament saw a number of unseeded German players power through the draw, eliminating world-top players such as Andy Murray and David Ferrer in the earlier rounds.

The Germans’ dramatic run through the tournament came to an end in the semi-finals yesterday, when Nadal and Monfils succeeded in responding to their opponents’ dangerous game plans.

The six-day, $1 million tournament attracted a diverse and bundled-up crowd. The play on the courts kept many fans entertained – as did various activities in the Public Village, including autograph sessions with the players, art shows, kids zone and a traditional souq area.

Were you watching the finals? Thoughts?

Andy Murray eliminated from Qatar Open

Shaival Dalal / The Peninsula

Scottish player Andy Murray was eliminated by German Florian Mayer

With the quarterfinals of the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open kicking off today, two German players powered through stiff competition to make it in, eliminating World Number Three David Ferrer and World Number Four Andy Murray.

Murray, who won two past tournaments, fell to Florian Mayer yesterday in a three-set match 3 6, 6 4, 6 2.

Mayer who is ranked 40th in the world was down a set and 0-3 in the second set, when he completely changed his game plan. “I just played a little bit more aggressive, stayed a little bit closer to the line, went for the winners a little earlier. Yeah, today it worked out,” he said in his post-match press conference.

Ferrer, meanwhile, lost to Daniel Brands in a tight two-set match 6-4, 7-5.

Nadal survives

World number one Rafael Nadal had to fight through his match against another German, Tobias Kamke, to win in three sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

“He did almost everything well, in my opinion,” Nadal said about his opponent’s performance in the post-game press conference. “He played great with forehand, played great with the backhand. He (hit) fantastic shots from very difficult positions.”

Quarterfinals will take place today from 3:30pm, with the following match-ups: Dustin Browns vs. Peter Gojowczyk, Victor Hanescu vs. Florian Mayer, Rafael Nadal vs. Ernests Gulbis, Gael Monfils vs. Daniel Brands.

Who’s been watching the tournament? Thoughts?

Gael Monfils of France competes on the first day of the 2014 Qatar Open

Sidhick Kannur / QNA

Gael Monfils of France competes on the first day of the 2014 Qatar Open

Spectators streamed into the Khalifa Tennis Complex yesterday for the start of the 2014 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, which featured top athletes like world number one Rafael Nadal and number four Andy Murray, and included a surprise upset.

Monday saw an abrupt end to the tournament for Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who is the 7th highest-ranked player in the world, after he was defeated by 77th-ranked Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the first round after a tight match of 7-6, 7-6.

Meanwhile, Nadal, who pulled out of the tournament last year due to a knee injury, said he was happy to start the season in Doha this year. “Last year, (it) was hard not have the chance to start the season from the beginning,” he said to journalists during a press conference.

“The goals are very similar all the time – just health (is the) most important thing. Without health, the rest is impossible.”

At another press conference, Murray, who is the reigning Wimbledon Champion and a two-time Doha tournament winner, spoke of Qatar’s changing landscape.

“It’s changed a lot here since the last time I was here. I mean, the skyline is ‑‑ I mean, there are some pretty amazing buildings which weren’t here the last time I was here,” he said. “I guess it’s only going to keep getting better, I would have thought, over the next few years’ buildup to the World Cup.”

This afternoon, Murray will face Qatar’s Moussa Zayed.

‘Nice atmosphere’

On the sidelines of the games, the “Public Village” on the tournament’s grounds is hosting activities for fans, including autograph sessions yesterday with world number three David Ferrer and defending champion Richard Gasquet. It also features a traditional souq area, kids’ zone and merchandising booths.

Spectators spoke positively about the tournament’s organization and activities held. Matt Pearson, a 49-year-old British expat, said he was pleased with the availability and reasonable ticket prices compared to back home.

“Here we have paid the equivalent of 5 Pounds Sterling and you can get as close to the players as you want,” he said. “It’s great.”

John Varghese, a 15-year-old from India, particularly liked the Public Village. “It is a really nice atmosphere here,” he said. “The entertainment section is very good, especially the food and the play area.”

The $1 million tournament is running until Jan. 4, with matches in both singles and doubles. For both categories, the quarterfinals will be held on Thursday, the semifinals on Friday and the finals on Saturday.

Tickets are available for purchase online at qatartennis.org and at Villaggio, City Center, Lagoona, and Landmark malls, as well as the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex from 10am-9pm.

Will you be watching the tournament? Thoughts?