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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Qatar Open to welcome world-class tennis players in March


Doha is yet again welcoming world-class tennis players to compete fiercely within weeks.  

World-ranking players are set to play in the Qatar Total Open 2021 tournament at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha next month.

The tournament will kick off on March 1 and will last for a total of six days, the Qatar Tennis Federation [QTF] announced. 

With only weeks to the coin toss, the list of confirmed players for the WTA Tour Premier event has continued to grow. Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who in December secured sponsorship from Qatar Airways, was the latest to confirm her attendance.

The highest-ranked Arab player in WTA history, Jabeur, is the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament, entering its main draw.

World No. 13  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, along with 2016 finalist Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and Egypt’s Mayar Sherif, are also joining as wildcard entrants. 

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The three champions are expected to turn heads in this year’s tournament in Doha, where they enjoy a large fanbase. 

This singles event is excepted to feature 32 players, including four qualifiers. The winner will bag a $565,530 total prize purse, QTF announced. 

Among the confirmed players are World No.1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia, World No.2 Simona Halep, as well as the 2014 champion and the 2019 Wimbledon Open semi-finalist, Elina Svitolina.

“We are delighted with the increasing numbers of stars who have confirmed their participation at the Qatar Total Open 2021. The strength of this year’s field, which includes eight of the world’s top-ten, is an indication of the quality of play to be expected at the week-long event,” said Tournament Director Saad Al Mohannadi.

“We look forward to another exciting time on the courts of the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in about two weeks.”

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Mubaraka Al-Naimi will be attempting to earn her first entry into the main draw.

The local player has participated in numerous tournaments, making her the country’s highest-ranked tennis athlete.

Qatar has hosted numerous tournaments in the past years and has become one of the most prominent sports hub countries in the world.

Despite the pandemic, Doha has managed to go ahead with several world-class events, the latest of which was the FIFA Club World Cup.

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