Qatar Open Tennis Tournament
Qatar Open tennis championship is one of the most popular tennis tournaments in the Middle East and it is the ceremonial opening of the ATP World Tour season. The Matches begins every year in the last week of December and run through January first week with 32 players in the singles play-offs and 16 teams compete for the doubles title.
Started in January 1993, the first ATP Qatar Open was organized only for men. The tournament grew in popularity over the years, with several top tennis stars, including Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Nicolas Kiefer, Fabrice Santoro AND Marc Rosset, having played in Qatar. Qatar also invited women players since 2001 to play in Qatar, and great women tennis players like Martina Hingis, Mary Pierce, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Sandrine Testud have played matches here.
Qatar open attracts tennis fans and tourists to the region and helps in the tourism trade of the country. Previously, there were just a few local tournaments organized yearly, but now, several tournaments including those by private clubs are held on regular basis.
The championship was officially given the name of Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 for its main sponsor. Rafael Nadal made a great start to this year by retaining the world number 1 spot after winning the three-set final against the French man Gael Monfils at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 championship. Raffa, as he is fondly called won 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 the final in two hours taking the coveted Doha title. Last year’s week long run of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open had a huge attendance of 35,000 tennis fans, while millions more around the world enjoyed the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 at the comfort of their homes.
Professional tennis in Qatar started in early 80’s with exhibition tournaments featuring distinguished players. As the exhibition matches became a sensation among the public, government decided to create an official organization. The Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) was formed on April the 9th, 1984 and His Excellency Dr. Al – Kuwari Issa Ghanem became the first head of the Federation.
The game was now being played at: Al Saad, Al Arabi, Al Ahli, and Al Rayyan sports clubs. The ultra modern Khalifa International Tennis Complex was constructed in 1992 in Doha and was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, The Emir of the State of Qatar. The first ATP Qatar Open for men took place in January 1993.
In 2001, The Qatar Tennis Federation took a major step by organizing the first women tennis competition due to the major development in the women sports in the country. The greatest women players from the WTA Tour have competed in the Qatar open and that includes; Mary Pierce, Martina Hingis, Arantxa, Sandrine Testud among many others.
All the development and progress of tennis in the nation has brought the emergence of Qatari players, their participation in tennis tournaments and the chance to interact with international professional players. Nearly 1000 players have officially registered with The Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) and they can participate in the many local, regional and international tournaments which the federation organizes and stages throughout the season.
Inaugurated in 1992 by the then Emir of the State of Qatar, The Khalifa International Tennnis & Squash Complex had an original capacity of 4500 seats and it was then renovated and enlarged in 2008 increasing its seating capacity to 7000, introducing Corporate Boxes, Upper sections middle section and lower sections. Also a remarkable VIP Tent, entertainment and public area with food courts were introduced.
The Khalifa International Tennis & Squash complex has well furnished 24 courts and all the mandatory elements to host the biggest and most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world.
How to go?
The facility is located in Al Majles Twaon Street in Al Dafna located near the corniche. To reach the Khalifa complex main entrance, turn left at the traffic signal after the Commercial Bank Building situated in the Corniche (on the right side) and drive towards Oryx Roundabout, then take right and after that take the second right again. There are 3 restaurants surrounding the QTF: Fuddruckers, Bennigans and Bhukara.
Things to Remember
- Qatar ExxonMobil Open is held in the winter months in this venue. It gives visitors the opportunity to watch tennis stars real close up due to the seating arrangements.
- During the tournament there will be a "food square" centrally located in the complex for food tasting opportunities and additional exhibits of Qatari culture. Pricing of food in the food courts is also reasonable.
- QTF is using a sophisticated electronic system for tickets sales – also used for the US Open - which allows the public to see in the computer all available seats and gives them the opportunity to select the exact location in which they wish to be seated.
- Tickets can also be purchased through the newly designed website of the Qatar Tennis Federation: www.qatartennis.org.
- Those who want a full dinner afterwards the matches, visit Bennigans or Fuddruckers in the same area or stop at the Indian restaurant behind the building.
- Bennigan's and Fudruckers restaurants in the complex have nice indoor play areas for the kids. Bennigan's play area is much bigger and also has an outdoor.
Address: QATAR TENNIS FEDERATION
P.O. BOX 4959 DOHA
Tel: (+974) 44409607
Fax: (+974) 448329
Ph.No ( Khalifa complex): +974 4440 9666
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