In advance of the start of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Players settle into Doha



Originally published on 30/12/13

On Sunday Andy Murray had an hour-long practice session with David Ferrer. Plenty of points were traded in the friendly environment of an almost empty Centre Court at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. The noisiest part of the session was when Rafa walked cross-court, en route to another practice court.

Just prior to the practice session Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych all visited Souq Waqif for the tournament’s official photo shoot. The Souq is a traditional shopping centre, about 15 minutes away from the Stadium.

After the practice session, the players were whisked off to a Gala Dinner held at the Al Mirqab Ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel. Entertainment included a trivia quiz with prizes for winners, who included Pablo Andujar and Julian Knowle, who answered questions about the past 22 years of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

Play starts Monday at 3.30pm local time, when Dan Evans plays his final qualifying match against Taro Daniel of Japan. If he wins he will be one of four players to go through qualifying and take a place in the main draw. All of the qualifiers will be in the top half of the draw.

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are both in action, in the doubles. Murray has teamed up with Nenad Zimonjic. They face the German pair Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer. Nadal paired with Francisco Roig, part of the world No.1’s coaching team, takes on Pablo Andujar and Lukas Rosol.

Singles action includes Gael Monfils against Santiago Giraldo, Tomas Berdych against Ivo Karlovic, and Fernando Verdasco against Italian Flippo Volandri. 


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