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Friday, September 17, 2021

Nadal, Djokovic face off ahead of men’s tennis open in Qatar

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All photos by Ray Toh

Drumming up excitement for the opening of the 2016 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia and World No. 5 Rafael Nadal of Spain played a friendly match in a sand court at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park yesterday.

Djokovic, who won 11 titles including at the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon during the 2015 tournament season, has never won the Qatar tournament, which runs from today, Jan. 4 to Saturday, Jan. 9.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 2012
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 2012

Previous tennis stunts have included Nadal and Roger Federer playing tennis on a “magic carpet” at Souq Waqif in 2010, a court on the water in 2011 and facing off at the Katara Amphitheater amid thousands of lit candles in 2012.

Nadal is the 2014 champion, but shocked fans last year after failing to advance past the first round of the 2015 open.

Star power

According to the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), some 32 players and 16 doubles team will be competing this time around at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex for a combined purse of $1,283,855.

David Ferrer arrives in Doha
David Ferrer arrives in Doha

That includes Spanish tennis star David Ferrer, who took the title last year after defeating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who is also competing.

Though the finals and semi-finals appear to be almost sold out, tickets can be bought online here and at City Center, Landmark, Lagoona and Villaggio malls, as well as onsite at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

The ticket booths will be open daily from 10am to 9pm. Children under two years of age can access the venue without a ticket.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

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