10 Feb 2018 – 11:00
Doha: The qualifying round of the 2018 Qatar Total Open will start today and last for two days with the participation of 32 players, of whom 28 take part based on international ranking and four through wildcards, including Qatar’s promising player Mubarka Al-Nuaimi.
Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation (QTSBF) hosts the tournament at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, with eight players progressing from the qualifying round to the main round that begins on Monday.
The tournament runs until February 18 and sees participation of 64 players, including the worlds top seeds, who aim to win the title of the tournament that launched in 2001.
QTSBF secretary-general Tariq Zeinal, who is also the tournaments general coordinator, said that all preparations are finished for the event, which sees the participation of the top 10 world seeds.
Zeinal said that tennis fans in Qatar will get to watch several top players, notably worlds No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who recently won the Australian Open, along with Romanian Simona Halep, Ukraines Elina Svitolina, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Czech Karolina Pliskova, Latvias Jelena Ostapenko, Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, German Angelique Kerber and Frances Kristina Mladenovic.
The tournament, with a total prize money of $2.6mn, will also feature 32 players in the doubles category of the competition.
Meanwhile, QTSBF executive director and tournament director Saad al-Mohannadi said that Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex is ready to welcome the games best players as well as tennis fans.
He added that this year’s edition is expected to be extremely competitive thanks to the inclusion of the worlds top seeds, which will be a unique opportunity for fans.
Al-Mohannadi said that ticket sales are very promising, expecting the 2018 edition of the event to be the best ever. He added that players were scheduled to arrive yesterday, with Muguruza the first to land in Doha, followed by two-time winner Maria Sharapova, who will have a chance to compete for the diamond ball if she manages her third title. The world number 1 player Caro Wozniacki and German Angelique Kerber also arrived yesterday.