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2016 Qatar Total Open

Seven of the world’s top 10 female tennis players will be in Doha next month to compete in the 15th edition of the QTA Qatar Total Open.

That includes World No. 1 Angelique Kerber, defending champion Carla Suárez Navarro, Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova and Karolina Pliskova, according to Doha Stadium Plus.

They will be competing for some $776,000 in prize money.

The tournament will be held from Feb. 13 to Feb. 18 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash complex in Dafna/West Bay.

Ray Toh

Tennis Open 2016

The Qatar Tennis Federation said tickets are now on sale online on its website and at the venue, as well as at City Center, Villaggio and Landmark malls.

Ticket info

Tickets start at QR25 and go up to QR350 per person.

All children over the age of two years old need to have a ticket to get into the complex. But children under five years old are not allowed into the stands.

In a statement, tournament director Saad al Mohannadi said:

“It’s a great privilege to host this world-class event again in Doha. Qatar has become a home for tennis and we are ready as usual to showcase the best the game can offer.

All hands are on the deck to ensure a very successful tournament and it is our belief that this year’s event will be greater than all the previous in all ramifications.”

Who’s going? Thoughts?

ATP World Tour

Novak Djokovic wins the 2017 Qatar Open

Novak Djokovic bested World No. 1 Andy Murray last night in the finals of the 25th annual Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

The 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory means Djokovic holds onto the golden falcon for a second year in a row.

The faceoff also ended Scotsman Murray’s 28-match winning streak.

However, Djokovic of Serbia will retain his No. 2 ATP ranking.

That said, he remained upbeat about his win.

Australia next

According to the Peninsula, he told reporters after the match:

“It’s definitely one of the best ways to start the year. All the way to the last shot you never know with Andy. It’s no strange occurrence for both of us to play three sets for three hours.

It’s a very physical battle and we’re both going to need some time to recover from that and get ready for Melbourne.”

Djokovic has won the upcoming Australian Open five times in the last six years.

But Murray, who was beaten by Djovokic four of those times, told AFP that he still believes he has a fighting chance in that tournament:

“It’s disappointing to lose for sure. I have a chance to win the Australian Open still.”

Thoughts?

Qatar Tennis

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in Qatar

The 25th annual Qatar ExxonMobil Open will conclude tonight with a finals match between the world’s two top-seeded players.

Andy Murray advanced to the finals this week fairly easily. He took down Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4 yesterday, racking up his 28th straight victory.

Meanwhile, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is the defending champion of the Qatar Open, had to work a bit harder for it to defeat Fernando) Verdasco.

‘Perfect matchup’

Ahead of tonight’s finals, ESPN reports the Serb as saying about Murray:

“We have always very physical battles, long rallies, entertaining matches. Between one and two in the world, it’s a perfect matchup.”

For those heading to the finals tonight at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash complex in Dafna/West Bay, be sure to arrive early.

Security is likely to be tight, as even the Emir is closely following the action on the courts.

Thoughts?