Secretary-General of Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) Tareq Zeinal said that the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open Tennis Championship for men has become one of the most important tournaments in the 250-point category on the ATP schedule, due to its world-class outstanding level.
Zeinal told reporters today, in the presence of director of the tournament Karim Al Alami that the Qatar Exxon Mobil Championship, which will be held from 6 to 11 January 2020, with a large participation of the top players, has reached this outstanding global level due to the great facilities offered by the committees working in the tournament for the participating players, starting from their arrival at Hamad International Airport, through their stay in five-star hotels, and providing them with all the amenities at the hotel, on the field, and on all their movements, which makes the player focus only on his performance on the field.
He explained that, due to the global professional level provided annually by the tournament, it was chosen by the players and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) as the best in the category of 250 points in 2019, for the third time after 2015 and 2017.
QTF Secretary-General said that after the last edition, the organizing committee sensed great satisfaction in the players and members of the ATP, who praised the level of organization that compares with what they see in the 1000-point Masters tournaments.
He explained that the professional players who participate tournaments around the world throughout the year give their best performances when they receive the appropriate attention from the tournaments officials. "In all our work, we seek to promote the name of Qatar by improving the organization, which makes players, and although there are more than one championship held at the same time, prefer to participate in Qatar Exxon Mobil Open," he said.
"Tourist sites, such as: Souq Waqif, Lusail, museums, Aspire Zone, shopping malls, and the cultural village contributes to the success of our championship , in addition to the good weather," Tareq Zeinal added pointing to the world trend of sports tourism.
" In QTF, our goal is to promote the game and sports tourism, and we also keen to have our players watch these big tournaments, which motivate and encourage them to advance their performance," Zeinal said.
On the reason for changing the tournament's date from December 31 to January 6, Secretary-General of QTF Tareq Zeinal, "A year and a half ago we were in permanent discussion with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) because they created a new team championship that will be held in the same week of the Qatar Open." He added, "The ITF tournament witnesses the participation of the best 24 countries participate, and the ITF only organizes this tournament annually and insists that it be held at the beginning of the calendar. The ITF gave us various options to establish our tournament, however, it was not appropriate to us."
Zeinal pointed out, "There is an agreement between QTF and ITF that the tournament will be held during the next versions on January 21 or 22 and it was agreed that this edition will be held from January 6 to 11 and next season's tournament date will change due to the organization of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics."
About the non-participation of one of the top three players in the world rankings in this edition, Zeinal said that most of the big players are forced to participate in the national teams championship in Australia, which takes place from January 3 to 10, but despite that, the championship will witness the participation of several distinguished and well-known players.
On whether there are efforts in the QTF to raise the tournament to the category of 500 points, Zeinal said: "The Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2020 Tennis Championship is not less than the 500 points tournaments, but rather the best in the financial prizes, where the same tournaments from the 250 category offer prize value of USD 400,000, but Qatar Open offers prizes of up to USD 1.3 million."
He added, "The problem is in the crowding of the calendar, and we hope to raise the Qatar championship to the Masters tournaments, and there are 9 Masters category tournaments with 1000 points, and if we find any city that organizes a Masters tournament and wants to sell, we will buy it immediately."
On the latest preparations for the new Qatar Open, Zeinal said that all technical equipment has been completed and work has started in the fans village, the VIP village, and the kids' zone, adding that the QTF is working around the hour to complete all requirement ahead of the schedule. He explained that QFT will organize several events on the sideline of the tournament, such as the heritage village, which will attract fans and tourists.
Regarding the players who will participate with invitation cards, the QFT Secretary-General confirmed that the organizing committee has 3 invitation cards, a Turkish player will be invited to participate along with the Tunisian player Malik Al Jaziri, and QFT will keep the third card even shortly before the tournament because one of the big players can request it.
About the Qatari participation, he pointed out that several Qatari tennis players (Musa Shannan, Rayan Al Alami, Jabr Al Mutawa, and Rashid Nawwaf) will participate in a mini-tournament among them to win one of the cards to participate in the main round, besides, two cards will be awarded to Qatari players to participate in the qualifying round.
Zainal added that the championship tennis courts have been completely prepared in terms of the safety of their floors, the underfloor heating system, and the lighting in line with international standards, also, the training courts have been prepared.
On the participation of Qatari referees, Zainal said, "The Qatar Open will witness the participation of referee Muhammad Al Mulla, who is one of the distinguished referees and participates in many tournaments even at the level of the Grand Slam tournaments. We are optimistic that he will receive the silver badge, then the gold."
Source: Qatar News Agency - QNA
Image source: Qatar Tennis Federation
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