Big guns take centrestage at Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Doha-Tennis icon and three-time winner, Roger Federer of Switzerland will join top seed Dominic Thiem of Austria and defending champion Andrey Rublev of Russia in action for the first time this week at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday. Fourth seed Canada’s Denis Shapovalov will also take to the court to kick off his campaign in the Qatari capital where tennis festival continues for the second week running.

Federer, winner in 2005, 2006 and 2011, will be aiming to begin a journey take could potentially take him to his fourth Qatar ExxonMobil Open trophy. The 20-times Grand Slam star, who is the second seed, will take on Daniel Evans of Great Britain in the Round of 16 clash at the Centre Court inside the iconic Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex.

Thiem, who did extremely well in 2020, will be looking to pick up a win and sign in for the quarterfinals of the 32-player tournament. The young Austrian won his first Grand Slam at the US Open in September last year. Thiem lost the Australian Open final in January last year after making it to two French Open finals in 2018 and 2019. Thiem will take on Russian wildcard entry Aslan Karatsev.

Rublev, who is the third seed but more importantly the defending champion, takes on former champion Richard Gasquet of France in his Round of 16 clash. Gasquet, who won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title in 2013, on Monday beat Blaz Rola of Slovenia in straight sets. Rublev is coming off a title winning performance after clinching the Rotterdam Open on Sunday.

Fourth seed Shapovalov will play compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the Round of 16 clash. The 21-year-old Canadian has won 1 career title besides accumulating $6,132,389 in prize money. The tall Canadian last year became the first from his country to reach the US Open quarterfinals in New York. He is the second Canadian to break into the Top-10 after Milos Raonic. Shapovalov in 2019 reached the final in Paris and 4 other ATP Masters 1000 semifinals, including 2017 Montreal, where he upset No. 2 Rafa Nadal as 18-year-old wildcard and became youngest ATP Masters 1000 semi-finalist in series history.

 

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

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