Since 1993, the State of Qatar has hosted the ATP World Tour‘s elite talent at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Several legends of the game, past and present, have captured the week-1 title in Doha — including Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

This year, Andrey Rublev became the 22nd player to lift the Falcon. 2-years-ago, as a 20-year-old Next Gen contender ranked outside the top-30, the Russian came-up short in the title match against Monfils. In 2020, he captured his 3rd career title in just 8-sets of tennis, capping the week with a straight-sets win over new Next Gen contender Corentin Moutet.

Thanks to the weather, this was no easy ask

After a wash-out on Thursday, both Rublev and Moutet had to win their Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches on Friday. Andrey scored two quick wins over Herbert and Kecmanovic. Remarkably, Moutet earned deciding-set wins over Verdasco and Wawrinka — two of the biggest wins of his career, on the same day.

Rain wasn’t the only derailment. Sadly, on the eve of the championship match, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said passed away. In solidarity with the people of Oman and with the deepest respect, all entertainment surrounding the championship match was cancelled. No music was played during changeovers. The trophy ceremony’s laser and fireworks show was called off. The entire tournament ended on a subdued and somber note to reflect the sorrow Qatar’s royal family felt for Oman. That said, Thursday’s washout and Friday’s news created one of the most memorable conclusions in Qatar ExxonMobil Open history.

What both Rublev and Moutet accomplished on Friday was extraordinary. The Championship match was pure tennis.

[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-camera” color=”#ffffff”]  [vector_icon icon=”fas fa-camera-retro” color=”#ffffff”]  IMAGES: SAMER AL-REJJAL AND VINOD DIVAKARAN |  [vector_icon icon=”fas fa-video”] VIDEO: SAMIR SAAD, FRANK KELLER OF UCOM

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Center Court Emcee
Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Finalist Corentin Moutet
Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Corentin Moutet Finalist
Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Singles Champions and Leaderboard
The Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Andy Taylor featured in Qatar's Tennis Link Magazine
Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Doubles Champions and Leaderboard

Recaps of the 18 matches played on Center Court — plus the Quarterfinal and Doubles Final played on Court-1

The Quarterfinals

Round of 16


Qualifying Rounds and Draw Ceremony

In 1993, Boris Becker captured the first Qatar ExxonMobil Open title -- in both singles and doubles.

Since then, Doha has been a week-one beacon for the ATP Tour's elite to knock the rust off, and fine-tune their talents for the coming season. With top-shelf amenities and the Qatar Tennis Federation's determined focus to make every athlete feel at home, Doha offers an easy-going, distraction-free environment to prepare for the year's first Major. From the facilities to the transportation, from the professional staff to the fan-focused presentation, Qatar offers a tremendous opportunity for each player to re-acclimate to the demands of a long and relentless season. It's no wonder players have voted the event ATP-250 Tournament of the Year in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Humbled to return as the Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, and excited to see what the new year brings.

Andy Taylor