Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018. Who’s Playing?

Andy Taylor. Tennis Announcer. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018. The Players

Tennis Announcer. Andy Taylor. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018

The Players. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018

The ATP World Tour’s 2018 season officially gets underway New Year’s Day with 1st-Round play in Doha. Qualifying for the 26th Qatar ExxonMobil Open starts tomorrow, with four main-draw positions up for grabs.

The Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018 Draw Ceremony

Tomorrow’s main-draw ceremony at Doha’s Four Seasons Hotel will introduce three Wild Cards to this year’s Field of 32:

ATP Tournament Supervisor Lars Graff will conduct the draw at 6:00pm, joined by Feliciano Lopez, Florian Mayer, Guido Pella, Malek Jaziri, and the cadre of international and local media covering this year’s event.

Gael Monfil’s addition to the main-draw was welcome news for the Qatar Tennis Federation, after 2012 Champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew from the tournament the day after Christmas (wrist injury).

German Cedrik Marcel Stebe replaces Tsonga in the main draw, while Victor Estrella Burgos becomes the first alternate. Cedrik’s story of perseverance is remarkable, after being sidelined for over two years with injuries. Check out his player introduction below.

Will Novak Djokovic be here to defend his back-to-back titles?

Earlier today in Abu Dhabi, Novak Djokovic withdrew from his exhibition match with Roberto Bautista Agut. Here’s the statement from Novak’s website:

    “I am terribly disappointed that I am forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Unfortunately, in the past few days I started to feel pain in the elbow and after several tests, my medical team has advised me not to risk anything, to withdraw from the tournament and to immediately continue with the therapies,” Novak said.
    “I am very sad because I was eager to return to playing official matches. I enjoyed the practices and everything I did to get ready for the start of the season, including the tournament in Abu Dhabi, where I always enjoy playing. Now I need to accept this situation, and to wait for the results of the therapies, in order to start playing tennis again and getting back to full rhythm. This might affect the start of the season and the tournament plan, but the decision will be made in the following days.”

We should find out during tomorrow’s draw ceremony if Novak will be in Doha. He’s the 2-time defending champion, with a dominant victory over Rafael Nadal to win the 2016 title, and a deciding-set victory over Andy Murray to win last year’s championship. If Novak is out, then Richard Gasquet will be the only returning champion in the 2018 field.

Oddly enough, Andy Murray was in Abu Dhabi this week to train for the upcoming season, and took Novak’s place, falling to Roberto Bautista Agut 2-6. Both Murray (hip) and Djokovic (elbow) haven’t played a set of Tour-level tennis since their seasons ended last year at Wimbledon.

Who’s playing at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018?

[05] Dominic Thiem (AUT)
[10] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
[12] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
[19] Tomas Berdych (CZE)
[23] Albert Ramons-Vinolas (ESP)
[31] Richard Gasquet (FRA)
[34] Filip Krajinovic (SRB)
[35] Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
[36] Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
[39] Andrey Rublev (RUS)
[43] Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
[48] Borna Coric (CRO)
[49] Aljaz Bedene (SLO)
[53] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

[55] Viktor Troicki (SRB)
[59] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
[60] Peter Gojowczyk (GER)
[64] Guido Pella (ARG)
[67] Dudi Sela (ISR)
[69] Florian Mayer (GER)
[70] Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
[72] Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)
[73] Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)
[82] Cedrik Marcel Stebe (GER)
[452] (PR) Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT)
[WC] Gael Monfils (FRA)
[WC] Malek Jaziri (TUN)
[WC] Jabor Al Mutawa (QAT)

DOMINIC THIEM

AT JUST 24-YEARS-OLD, HE OWNS 8 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER, STARTS THE NEW YEAR AS A TOP-5 PLAYER. LAST SEASON, HE WAS EXTRAORDINARY; ONE OF ONLY TWO PLAYERS TO REACH THE ROUND OF 16 OR GREATER AT ALL FOUR MAJORS. IN JANUARY, HE REACHED THE 4TH ROUND OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN, THEN A MONTH LATER, CAPTURED HIS 8TH CAREER TITLE AT THE RIO OPEN. DURING THE CLAY-SWING, HE WAS ON FIRE. HE DEFEATED WORLD #1 ANDY MURRAY TO REACH THE BARCELONA FINAL, AND FOLLOWED THAT UP WITH A FINALIST RUN AT THE MADRID MASTERS. IN THE ROME MASTERS, HE DEFEATED WORLD #4 RAFAEL NADAL TO REACH THE SEMIFINALS, THEN POSTED HIS FIRST CAREER VICTORY OVER NOVAK DJOKOVIC, RETURNING TO THE SEMIFINALS OF THE FRENCH OPEN. WITH ROUND OF 16 RUNS AT BOTH WIMBLEDON AND THE US OPEN, HE QUALIFIED FOR THE YEAR-END ATP FINALS FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, AND FINISHED THE SEASON RANKED INSIDE THE TOP-5 FOR THE FIRST TIME. COMPETING IN HIS SECOND QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, FROM AUSTRIA, PLEASE WELCOME THE #5 PLAYER IN THE WORLD – DOMINIC THIEM

PABLO CARRENO BUSTA

THIS 26-YEAR-OLD OWNS 3 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES AND COMES INTO THE NEW YEAR AFTER A BREAKTHROUGH SEASON IN 2017. FIRST, HE REACHED HIS MAIDEN ATP-500 FINAL AT THE RIO OPEN, BROKE INTO THE TOP-20 WITH HIS FIRST CAREER MASTERS-1000 SEMIFINAL RUN AT INDIAN WELLS, WON THE TITLE IN ESTORIL, THEN REACHED HIS FIRST MAJOR QUARTERFINAL AT ROLAND GARROS; WHERE HE EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER WIN OVER A TOP-10 PLAYER – DEFEATING MILOS RAONIC IN THE ROUND OF 16. IN SEPTEMBER, HE ADVANCED TO HIS FIRST GRAND SLAM SEMIFINAL, BLASTING THROUGH THE US OPEN DRAW WITHOUT DROPPING A SET…AND BY YEAR’S END, MADE HIS DEBUT AT THE ATP FINALS IN LONDON. HE STARTED 2017 AS THE #30 PLAYER IN THE WORLD…AND ENTERS 2018 WITH A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF WORLD #10. COMPETING IN HIS 2ND QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN – FROM SPAIN, PLEASE WELCOME – PABLO CARRENO BUSTA

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

AT 30-YEARS-OLD, HE IS THE 2-TIME DEFENDING CHAMPION HERE AT THE QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. IN 2016, HE DEFEATED RAFAEL NADAL TO CAPTURE THE FALCON; THEN LAST YEAR, SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED HIS TITLE WITH A DECIDING-SET VICTORY OVER WORLD #1 ANDY MURRAY. A 12-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION, HE IS ONE OF ONLY EIGHT ATP ATHLETES WHO’VE EARNED THE CAREER GRAND SLAM – AND ALONGSIDE LEGENDS DON BUDGE AND ROD LAVER – IS ONE OF ONLY THREE PLAYERS IN HISTORY TO HOLD ALL FOUR MAJOR TITLES AT THE SAME TIME. HE’S A DAVIS CUP CHAMPION, AN OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST, OWNS 68 CAREER SINGLES TITLES IN A REMARKABLE 98 FINALS, IS A 4-TIME YEAR-END WORLD #1,…AND IS THE ONLY PLAYER TO EVER CAPTURE FOUR CONSECUTIVE TITLES AT THE ATP FINALS. NOW WITH OVER 700 CAREER MATCH VICTORIES, AND 223-WEEKS AS THE WORLD #1, HE IS UNDENIABLY ONE OF THE GREATEST ATHLETES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT. FROM SERBIA, PLEASE WELCOME 2-TIME AND DEFENDING QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN CHAMPION – NOVAK DJOKOVIC

TOMAS BERDYCH

AT 32-YEARS-OLD, THIS WIMBLEDON FINALIST AND 2-TIME DAVIS CUP CHAMPION IS ONE OF ONLY FIVE ACTIVE PLAYERS WHO HAVE REACHED THE SEMIFINALS OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS. REMARKABLY, LAST MAY IN ROME, HE SURPASSED 600 CAREER TOUR-LEVEL VICTORIES, THEN ADVANCED TO HIS 31ST CAREER FINAL IN LYON. HE OWNS 13 ATP WORLD TOUR TITLES OVERALL, HAS BEEN RANKED AS #4 IN THE WORLD, AND HAS LED HIS COUNTRY TO THREE DAVIS CUP FINALS – CAPTURING BACK-TO-BACK DAVIS CUP TITLES FOR THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN 2012 AND 2013. A FINALIST HERE 3-YEARS-AGO, AND SEMIFINALIST THE PAST TWO YEARS; HE’S ALSO A DOHA “DOUBLES” CHAMPION – CAPTURING THE TITLE IN HIS DOHA DEBUT BACK IN 2014. MAKING HIS 5TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN APPEARANCE, PLEASE WELCOME 2015 FINALIST – TOMAS BERDYCH

ALBERT RAMOS-VINOLAS

THIS 29-YEAR-OLD SOUTHPAW WON HIS FIRST CAREER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE AT THE 2016 SWEDISH OPEN, AND HAS REACHED THREE ADDITIONAL FINALS SINCE – INCLUDING TWO LAST YEAR. IN FEBRUARY, HE WAS A FINALIST AT THE BRASIL OPEN IN SAO PAOLO. THEN A MONTH LATER, EARNED A CAREER-BEST FINISH AT THE MONTE CARLO MASTERS – DEFEATING WORLD #1 ANDY MURRAY AND WORLD #8 MARIN CILIC EN-ROUTE TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. WITH THAT FINALS APPEARANCE, HE CRACKED THE ATP’S TOP-20 FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND SOON-AFTER CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #17 IN THE WORLD. WITH FIVE CAREER TOP-10 WINS, INCLUDING A 2015 VICTORY OVER ROGER FEDERER IN SHANGHAI – HE’S A FIVE-TIME TOUR-LEVEL FINALIST, OWNS 7 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR TITLES, AND HAS REPRESENTED HIS COUNTRY IN BOTH DAVIS CUP, AND AT THE 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES IN RIO. A QUARTERFINALIST HERE SIX-YEARS-AGO, HE IS COMPETING IN HIS 5TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. FROM SPAIN, PLEASE WELCOME – ALBERT RAMOS-VINOLAS

RICHARD GASQUET

FIVE-YEARS-AGO, THIS 31-YEAR-OLD WON HIS 8TH ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLE ON THIS VERY COURT, AT THE 2013 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. HE NOW OWNS 14 CAREER TITLES; AND LAST FEBRUARY, COMPETED IN HIS 28TH CAREER FINAL, AND 5TH SUCCESSIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH IN MONTPELLIER. RANKED AS HIGH AS #7 IN THE WORLD, HE’S AN OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST AND REIGNING DAVIS CUP CHAMPION! JUST FIVE WEEKS AGO, HE HELPED LIFT FRANCE TO ITS FIRST DAVIS CUP TITLE IN 16-YEARS, TEAMING WITH PIERRE-HUGHES HERBERT TO DELIVER THE ALL-IMPORTANT DOUBLES RUBBER IN FRANCE’S 3-2 WIN OVER BELGIUM. A 3-TIME GRAND SLAM SEMIFINALIST, HE’S ALSO A GRAND SLAM MIXED DOUBLES CHAMPION! IN 2004, AT JUST 17-YEARS-OLD, HE CAPTURED THE FRENCH OPEN TITLE WITH PARTNER TATIANA GOLOVIN IN HIS ONLY CAREER MIXED DOUBLES APPEARANCE. COMPETING IN DOHA FOR THE 5TH TIME – FROM FRANCE – PLEASE WELCOME 2013 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN CHAMPION – RICHARD GASQUET

FILIP KRAJINOVIC

THIS 25-YEAR-OLD COMES INTO THE NEW SEASON AFTER A BREAKTHROUGH YEAR IN 2017. IN JUST 5-MONTHS, BETWEEN MAY AND OCTOBER, HE WON 5 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLES AND FINISHED THE YEAR BY REACHING HIS FIRST CAREER TOUR-LEVEL FINAL AT THE PARIS MASTERS INDOORS. THAT WEEK, HE DEFEATED WORLD #13 SAM QUERREY, THEN WORLD #14 JOHN ISNER IN A DECIDING-SET TIE-BREAK TO REACH THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH, BECOMING THE FIRST QUALIFIER TO ADVANCE TO THE FINAL OF A MASTERS-1000 EVENT IN FIVE YEARS. HE STARTED 2017 RANKED OUTSIDE THE TOP-200, BUT ENDED THE SEASON WITH A CAREER-BEST, YEAR-END RANKING OF #34 IN THE WORLD. COMPETING IN HIS THIRD QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, HE IS MAKING HIS MAIN-DRAW DEBUT. FROM SERBIA, PLEASE WELCOME – FILIP KRAJINOVIC

FERNANDO VERDASCO

THIS 34-YEAR-OLD, 3-TIME DAVIS CUP CHAMPION OWNS 7 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES, 7 DOUBLES TITLES, AND HAS BEEN RANKED INSIDE THE TOP-50 FOR A REMARKABLE 14 SUCCESSIVE SEASONS, WITH YEAR-END RANKINGS INSIDE THE TOP-10 IN BOTH 2009 AND 2010. A SEMIFINALIST AT THE 2009 AUSTRALIAN OPEN, HE WAS A SEMIFINALIST HERE IN DOHA LAST YEAR, AND NOW OWNS 487 MATCH VICTORIES. IN 2017, HE REACHED HIS 22ND CAREER SINGLES FINAL IN DUBAI, AND EARNED HIS 23RD AND 24TH TOP-10 WINS OVER WORLD #10 ALEXANDER ZVEREV AT ROLAND GARROS, AND WORLD #6 DOMINIC THIEM AT THE PARIS MASTERS. HE ALSO REACHED HIS FIRST GRAND SLAM “DOUBLES” SEMIFINAL, PARTNERING WITH NENAD ZIMONJIC AT THE FRENCH OPEN. KNOWN FOR HIS UNMATCHED ENDURANCE, STAMINA AND FOCUSED DETERMINATION, HE HAS COMPETED IN AN IMPRESSIVE 58 CONSECUTIVE GRAND SLAMS, THE SECOND LONGEST ACTIVE-STREAK ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR. COMPETING HERE IN DOHA FOR THE 6TH TIME, FROM SPAIN, PLEASE WELCOME 2017 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN SEMIFINALIST – FERNANDO VERDASCO

FELICIANO LOPEZ

AT 36-YEARS-OLD, THIS 4-TIME DAVIS CUP CHAMPION OWNS 36 CAREER WINS OVER TOP-10 PLAYERS, INCLUDING VICTORIES OVER WORLD #1’S NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND RAFAEL NADAL. RANKED AS HIGH AS #12 IN THE WORLD, LAST YEAR HE WON HIS 6TH AND GREATEST CAREER SINGLES TITLE AT QUEENS CLUB, IN A REMARKABLE WEEK THAT FEATURED WINS OVER WORLD #3 STAN WAWRINKA, TOMAS BERDYCH, GRIGOR DIMITROV, AND WORLD #7 MARIN CILIC, IN AN ELECTRIC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH THAT CAME DOWN TO A DECIDING SET TIE-BREAK. TO MAKE THE WIN EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE – JUST A WEEK PRIOR, HE REACHED HIS 16TH CAREER FINAL ON THE GRASS IN STUTTGART. A 2-TIME OLYMPIAN, HE AND DAVID FERRER COMPETED IN THE DOUBLES BRONZE-MEDAL MATCH AT THE 2012 SUMMER GAMES IN LONDON; THEN IN 2016, HE AND PARTNER MARC LOPEZ CAPTURED THE TITLE HERE IN DOHA, AND WENT ON TO WIN THEIR FIRST GRAND SLAM TITLE TOGETHER AT ROLAND GARROS. BACK IN SEPTEMBER, THEY REACHED THEIR SECOND MAJOR FINAL AT THE 2017 US OPEN. COMPETING IN DOHA FOR THE 6TH TIME, FROM SPAIN – PLEASE WELCOME 2016 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DOUBLES CHAMPION – FELICIANO LOPEZ

ANDREY RUBLEV

AT 20-YEARS-OLD, THIS ATP NEXT-GEN STAR HAD A BREAK-THROUGH SEASON IN 2017. HE STARTED THE YEAR AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN, AND PLAYED THROUGH QUALIFYING TO REACH THE 2ND-ROUND OF A GRAND SLAM FOR THE FIRST TIME. HE WENT ON TO REACH HIS THIRD CAREER ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINAL AT THE RENNE OPEN, MADE HIS MAIN-DRAW DEBUT AT ROLAND GARROS, HIS SECOND-ROUND DEBUT AT WIMBLEDON; THEN AS A LUCKY LOSER IN UMAG, CAPTURED HIS FIRST CAREER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE, DEFEATING PAOLO LORENZI IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. HE WASN’T DONE PILING-UP THE CAREER-FIRSTS, REMARKABLY – AT THE US OPEN IN NEW YORK – HE EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER WIN OVER A TOP-10 PLAYER, DEFEATING GRIGOR DIMITROV, THEN WORLD #14 DAVID GOFFIN, BECOMING THE YOUNGEST PLAYER TO REACH THE US OPEN QUARTERFINALS SINCE ANDY RODDICK IN 2001. HE STARTED 2017 RANKED OUTSIDE THE TOP-150, AND ENDED THE YEAR INSIDE THE TOP-40, AFTER BATTLING THROUGH TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT THE ATP NEXT GEN FINALS IN MILAN. MAKING HIS QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DEBUT, FROM RUSSIA, PLEASE WELCOME – ANDREY RUBLEV

PAOLO LORENZI

AT 36-YEARS-OLD, THIS TIRELESS ITALIAN IS PLAYING THE BEST TENNIS OF HIS CAREER. LAST YEAR, HE REACHED HIS 3RD AND 4TH TOUR-LEVEL FINALS IN QUITO AND UMAG, CAPTURED HIS 19TH CAREER ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLE, CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #33 IN THE WORLD; AND AT THE US OPEN IN NEW YORK, BECAME THE OLDEST PLAYER IN THE OPEN ERA TO REACH THE ROUND OF 16 AT A GRAND SLAM FOR THE FIRST TIME. LAST YEAR, HE PLAYED IN MORE EVENTS THAN ANY OTHER TOP-100 PLAYER, COMPETING IN 34 TOURNAMENTS, 2 DAVIS CUP TIES…AND WITH HIS CHALLENGER VICTORY IN ITALY, IS NOW THE 3RD MOST PROLIFIC PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE ATP CHALLENGER TOUR. A MEMBER OF HIS COUNTRY’S OLYMPIC AND DAVIS CUP TEAMS, HE WON HIS FIRST CAREER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE JUST 18-MONTHS-AGO IN KITZBUHEL. COMPETING IN HIS 6TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, FROM ITALY, PLEASE WELCOME – PAOLO LORENZI

BORNA CORIC

AFTER A SLOW-START TO THE 2017-SEASON, THIS 21-YEAR-OLD TURNED UP THE HEAT LAST APRIL. IN MIAMI, HE EARNED HIS 4TH CAREER TOP-10 WIN, DEFEATING DOMINIC THIEM AT THE MASTERS-1000 EVENT IN MIAMI. TWO WEEKS LATER, HE EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE IN MARRAKECH, SAVING FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS TO EARN THE TITLE OVER PHILIP KOHLSCHREIBER. THEN IN MAY’S MASTERS-1000 EVENT IN MADRID, AS A LUCKY LOSER – HE DEFEATED WORLD #1 ANDY MURRAY EN-ROUTE TO THE QUARTERFINALS – BECOMING THE FIRST LUCKY LOSER TO DEFEAT A WORLD #1 IN OVER 10-YEARS. AT THE US OPEN, HE EARNED HIS 3RD TOP-10 WIN OF THE SEASON, DEFEATING WORLD #6 ALEXANDER ZVEREV TO REACH THE 3RD ROUND; AND FINISHED 2017 WITH A SEMIFINAL RUN AT THE NEXT GEN ATP FINALS IN MILAN. RANKED AS HIGH AS #33 IN THE WORLD, HE HELPED LIFT CROATIA TO THE DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP FINAL IN 2016…AND IS COMPETING IN HIS FIRST QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. FROM CROATIA, PLEASE WELCOME WORLD #48 – BORNA CORIC

ALJAZ BEDENE

THIS 28-YEAR-OLD ENTERS 2018 AFTER A CAREER-BEST SEASON LAST YEAR ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR. BACK IN APRIL, HE WAS UNBEATABLE, WINNING 16 CONSECUTIVE MATCHES!: HE CAPTURED BACK-TO-BACK ATP CHALLENGER TOUR TITLES IN FRANCE AND ITALY, THEN PLAYED THROUGH QUALIFYING TO REACH HIS SECOND-CAREER TOUR-LEVEL FINAL AT THE HUNGARIAN OPEN IN BUDAPEST. AT WIMBLEDON, HE DEFEATED IVO KARLOVIC IN AN EPIC 4-AND-A-HALF HOUR, 5-TIE-BREAK MARATHON, THEN DAMIR DZUMHUR, TO REACH THE 3RD-ROUND OF A GRAND SLAM FOR THE SECOND TIME. RANKED AS HIGH AS #45 IN THE WORLD, HE OWNS 14 CAREER ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLES (IN 16 FINALS), AND IS COMPETING IN THE MAIN DRAW OF THE QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME. FROM SLOVENIA, PLEASE WELCOME WORLD #49 – ALJAZ BEDENE

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF

NOW IN HIS 10TH SEASON ON TOUR, THIS 27-YEAR-OLD IS COMING OFF HIS MOST-SUCCESSFUL YEAR ON TOUR. IN 2017, HE TOOK NOVAK DJOKOVIC TO A FIRST-SET TIE-BREAK HERE IN DOHA, THEN REACHED HIS 17TH CAREER ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINAL IN CANBRERRA, WHERE HE ALSO WON THE DOUBLES TITLE. AT THE MONTE CARLO MASTERS, HE DEFEATED WORLD #11 GRIGOR DIMITROV TO REACH THE ROUND OF 16, CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #44 IN THE WORLD, REACHED THE SEMIFINALS IN WINSTON-SALEM AND ST. PETERSBURG, AND UPSET WORLD #15 AND US OPEN FINALIST KEVIN ANDERSON AT THE SHANGHAI MASTERS. NOT TO MENTION, HIS CLUTCH PERFORMANCES AGAINST PORTUGAL IN THE WORLD GROUP PLAYOFFS KEPT GERMANY IN THE DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP FOR 2018. THE OWNER OF 5 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLES, HIS BIGGEST WIN CAME AT THE 2016 PARIS MASTERS, WHERE HE DEFEATED WORLD #3 STAN WAWRINKA IN A DECIDING-SET TIE-BREAK. COMPETING IN HIS 5TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, FROM GERMANY, PLEASE WELCOME – JAN-LENNARD STRUFF

VIKTOR TROICKI

AT 31-YEARS-OLD, THIS HARD-SERVING DAVIS CUP CHAMPION OWNS 3 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES, HAS REACHED THE ROUND OF 16 AT THE MAJORS FIVE-TIMES, AND HAS BEEN RANKED AS HIGH AS #12 IN THE WORLD. HE’S EARNED 10 CAREER TOP-10 VICTORIES, INCLUDING A WIN OVER WORLD #3 NOVAK DJOKOVIC AT THE 2007 CROATIA OPEN. IN 2010, HE WON THE 5TH AND DECIDING MATCH TO CLINCH SERBIA’S FIRST-EVER DAVIS CUP TITLE, AND REPRESENTED HIS COUNTRY AT THE 2012 SUMMER GAMES IN LONDON. A 9-TIME FINALIST ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR, LAST YEAR, HE WAS A SEMIFINALIST IN BOTH SYDNEY AND ISTANBUL, AND DEFEATED WORLD #7 DOMINIC THIEM AND WORLD #16 JOHN ISNER EN-ROUTE TO THE QUARTERFINALS OF THE SHANGHAI MASTERS. COMPETING IN DOHA FOR THE 7TH-TIME, FROM SERBIA, PLEASE WELCOME 2010 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN SEMIFINALIST – VIKTOR TROICKI

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI

THIS 25-YEAR-OLD ENTERS THE NEW YEAR AFTER A CAREER-BEST SEASON IN 2017, WHERE HE EARNED 25 MATCH VICTORIES – INCLUDING HIS SECOND TOP-10 WIN, DEFEATING WORLD #8 DOMINIC THIEM IN SOFIA. IN 2016, HE BECAME THE FIRST PLAYER FROM GEORGIA EVER TO REACH AN ATP WORLD TOUR FINAL; AND LAST SEASON, REACHED CAREER FINAL NUMBER-2, ADVANCING TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH IN MEMPHIS. IN MAY, HE REACHED THE 3RD ROUND OF THE FRENCH OPEN – HIS SECOND 3RD-ROUND RUN AT A MAJOR – AND BY JUNE, REACHED A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #51 IN THE WORLD. COMPETING IN HIS 3RD QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN; 3-YEARS-AGO, HE PLAYED THROUGH QUALIFYING, THEN DEFEATED MIKHAIL YOUZHNY TO ADVANCE TO THE ROUND OF 16. FROM GEORGIA, PLEASE WELCOME THE WORLD #59 – NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI

PETER GOJOWCZYK

THE LAST TIME THIS 28-YEAR-OLD TOOK THE COURT HERE IN DOHA, HE BLAZED THROUGH QUALIFYING, DEFEATED DOMINIC THIEM IN THE FIRST ROUND, PHILIP KOHLSCHREIBER IN THE SECOND, DUSTIN BROWN IN THE THIRD, AND REACHED HIS FIRST CAREER ATP WORLD TOUR SEMIFINAL. LATER THAT YEAR, HE’D GO ON TO DEFEAT WORLD #12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA IN AN EPIC FIVE-SETTER IN THE DAVIS CUP QUARTERFINALS; AND EARN HIS FIRST TOP-10 WIN, DEFEATING MILOS RAONIC IN HALLE. LAST SEPTEMBER – AGAIN, AS A QUALIFIER – HE CAPTURED HIS MAIDEN ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLE IN METZ, WINNING SEVEN MATCHES IN EIGHT DAYS, DEFEATING BENOIT PAIRE IN THE FINAL. COMPETING IN HIS 3RD QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, HE COMES INTO THE NEW SEASON WITH A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #60 IN THE WORLD. FROM GERMANY, PLEASE WELCOME 2014 SEMIFINALIST – PETER GOJOWCZYK

GUIDO PELLA

THIS 27-YEAR-OLD, DAVIS CUP CHAMPION REACHED HIS FIRST ATP TOUR-LEVEL FINAL AT THE 2016 RIO OPEN, WHERE HE SAVED THREE MATCH POINTS TO DEFEAT WORLD #11 JOHN ISNER IN THE FIRST ROUND. LAST MAY, AS A QUALIFIER IN MUNICH, HE WON SIX SUCCESSIVE MATCHES TO REACH CAREER-FINAL NUMBER-TWO. IN JUNE, HE CAPTURED HIS 11TH ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLE IN MILAN, WON HIS 12TH JUST 2-MONTHS LATER IN COLUMBIA; THEN IN SEPTEMBER, EARNED HIS SECOND CAREER TOP-10 VICTORY, DEFEATING WORLD #7 DOMINIC THIEM EN-ROUTE TO THE SEMIFINALS OF THE CHENGDU OPEN. CHAMPION OF THE 2012 YEAR-END ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINALS; TWO-YEARS-AGO, WITH VICTORIES IN THE FIRST ROUND, QUARTERFINALS AND SEMIFINALS, HE HELPED LIFT ARGENTINA TO ITS HISTORIC, FIRST-EVER DAVIS CUP TITLE. MAKING HIS QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DEBUT, FROM ARGENTINA, PLEASE WELCOME – GUIDO PELLA

DUDI SELA

THIS 32-YEAR-OLD IS A 2-TIME FINALIST ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR, EARNING THE BIGGEST WIN OF HIS CAREER AT THE 2008 CHINA OPEN, DEFEATING WORLD #5 DAVID FERRER EN-ROUTE TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, HE EARNED HIS BEST RUN AT A MAJOR, REACHING THE ROUND OF 16 AT WIMBLEDON, AND CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #29 IN THE WORLD. LAST YEAR, HE STARTED THE SEASON WITH A SEMIFINAL RUN IN CHENNAI – WON HIS 21ST CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLE IN CANBERRA, HIS 22ND IN NOTTINGHAM, AND IS NOW THE SECOND MOST SUCCESSFUL PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHALLENGER TOUR. AT WIMBLEDON, HE WON AN EPIC 4-HOUR BATTLE WITH WORLD #21 JOHN ISNER TO REACH THE 3RD-ROUND, AND BOOSTED HIS RANKING NEARLY 30-POINTS BY YEAR’S END. A MEMBER OF THE ISRAELI OLYMPIC TEAM AND DAVIS CUP SEMIFINALIST, MAKING HIS QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DEBUT, PLEASE WELCOME ISRAEL’S TOP-RANKED PLAYER – DUDI SELA

FLORIAN MAYER

IN HIS DOHA DEBUT FOUR-YEARS-AGO, THIS 34-YEAR-OLD UPSET WORLD #4 ANDY MURRAY EN-ROUTE TO THE SEMIFINALS. HE OWNS 12 CAREER WINS OVER TOP-10 PLAYERS, INCLUDING A VICTORY OVER WORLD #2 RAFAEL NADAL AT THE 2011 SHANGHAI MASTERS; AND A WIN OVER WORLD #7 DOMINIC THIEM BEFORE EARNING HIS SECOND CAREER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE AT THE 2016 GERRY WEBER OPEN. A 7-TIME FINALIST ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR, HE’S BEEN RANKED AS HIGH AS #18 IN THE WORLD, OWNS 13 ADDITIONAL ATP CHALLENGER TOUR TITLES; AND IN SEPTEMBER, CONTESTED HIS 22ND CAREER CHALLENGER FINAL. A 2-TIME WIMBLEDON QUARTERFINALIST, HE’S COMPETING HERE IN DOHA FOR THE THIRD TIME. FROM GERMANY, PLEASE WELCOME 2014 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN SEMIFINALIST – FLORIAN MAYER

GUILLERMO GARCIA-LOPEZ

AT 34-YEARS-OLD, HE OWNS 5 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES, AND IS A GRAND SLAM DOUBLES FINALIST. HE’S DEFEATED TOP-10 PLAYERS 12-TIMES, INCLUDING A VICTORY OVER WORLD #1 RAFAEL NADAL EN-ROUTE TO THE TITLE AT THE 2010 THAILAND OPEN. RANKED AS HIGH AS #23 IN THE WORLD, HE HAS FINISHED THE YEAR INSIDE THE TOP-100 FOR 13 SUCCESSIVE SEASONS, AND HAS REACHED THE ROUND OF 16 AT THE MAJORS TWICE: INCLUDING THE 2014 FRENCH OPEN WHERE HE DEFEATED WORLD #3 STAN WAWRINKA, AND THE 2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN. A YEAR LATER, HE MADE HIS GRAND SLAM FINAL DEBUT IN DOUBLES, TEAMING WITH PABLO CARRENO BUSTA AT THE 2016 US OPEN. EIGHT-YEARS-AGO, HE CAPTURED HIS FIRST CAREER DOUBLES TITLE RIGHT HERE IN DOHA, TEAMING WITH ALBERT MONTANES TO WIN THE 2010 DOHA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP. COMPETING IN HIS 6TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. FROM SPAIN, PLEASE WELCOME 2010 DOUBLES CHAMPION – GUILLERMO GARCIA-LOPEZ

EVGENY DONSKOY

AT 27-YEARS-OLD, HE OWNS 11 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLES; AND LAST FEBRUARY IN DUBAI, EARNED HIS FIRST TOP-10 WIN IN A REMARKABLE, COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORY OVER ROGER FEDERER. DOWN A SET AND 2-5 IN THE SECOND, HE SAVED THREE MATCH POINTS, DEFEATING FEDERER IN THE DECIDING TIE-BREAK. A MEMBER OF HIS COUNTRY’S OLYMPIC AND DAVIS CUP TEAMS, AT THE 2016 SUMMER GAMES IN RIO – HE SAVED TWO MATCH POINTS TO DEFEAT DAVID FERRER, AND ADVANCED TO THE 3RD-ROUND IN HIS OLYMPIC DEBUT. RANKED AS HIGH AS #65 IN THE WORLD, HE’S REACHED THE 3RD-ROUND OF BOTH THE AUSTRALIAN AND US OPENS, AND IS COMPETING IN THE MAIN DRAW OF THE QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME. FROM RUSSIA, PLEASE WELCOME – EVGENY DONSKOY

THOMAS FABBIANO

OVER THE SUMMER, THIS 28-YEAR-OLD WON HIS FIRST TWO GRAND SLAM MAIN-DRAW MATCHES AT THE US OPEN, EARNING HIS CAREER-BEST RUN AT A MAJOR. BY SEPTEMBER, HE CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #70 IN THE WORLD, AND FINISHED THE SEASON RANKED INSIDE THE TOP-100 FOR THE FIRST TIME. HE OWNS 5 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLES, INCLUDING THREE LAST YEAR ALONE; AND OWNS AN OUTSTANDING 5-1 RECORD IN CHALLENGER TOUR FINALS. COMPETING IN HIS 3RD QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, HE IS MAKING HIS MAIN-DRAW DEBUT. FROM ITALY, PLEASE WELCOME – THOMAS FABBIANO

ANDREAS HAIDER-MAURER

THIS 30-YEAR-OLD CONTINUES HIS REMARKABLE COMEBACK AFTER NEARLY TWO-YEARS AWAY FROM THE SPORT, WITH AN INJURY TO HIS RIGHT HEEL. IN 2010, HE MADE HIS GRAND SLAM MAIN DRAW DEBUT AT THE US OPEN, WHERE HE TOOK THE WORLD #5 ROBIN SODERLING TO A 5TH AND DECIDING SET. TWO MONTHS LATER, HE REACHED HIS FIRST TOUR-LEVEL FINAL AT HIS HOME TOURNAMENT IN VIENNA, DEFEATING WORLD #14 MARIN CILIC EN-ROUTE TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. HIS BEST WAS YET TO COME. IN 2015, HE REACHED THE 3RD-ROUND OF THE MONTE CARLO MASTERS, CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #47 IN THE WORLD, AND CAPTURED HIS 9TH ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLE IN MEERSBUSCH, GERMANY – BEFORE INJURY SIDELINED HIM FOR THE NEXT 669 DAYS. THEN THIS PAST AUGUST, JUST THREE MONTHS INTO HIS COMEBACK, HE REACHED THE FINAL IN MEERSBUSCH AGAIN – HIS 14TH CAREER ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINAL. MAKING HIS QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DEBUT, IN AN INSPIRING RETURN TO THE SPORT HE LOVES…FROM AUSTRIA, PLEASE WELCOME – ANDREAS HAIDER-MAURER

CEDRIK MARCEL STEBE

REMARKABLY, THIS 27-YEAR-OLD HAS RETURNED TO THE SPORT’S TOP-100 AFTER INJURIES KEPT HIM AWAY FROM THE GAME FOR OVER TWO YEARS. IN 2012 HE CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #71 IN THE WORLD, BUT WENT UNRANKED IN 2014 AND 15 WHILE REHABBING FROM SURGERY. FINALLY, IN 2016, HE RETURNED TO FULL-STRENGTH – DETERMINED TO BATTLE-BACK AND REGAIN HIS FORM. RESOLUTE, HE PLAYED CHALLENGER AND FUTURES EVENTS, BOOSTING HIS RANKING WITH EVERY WIN; AND LAST MAY…EVERYTHING CLICKED. AS A LUCKY LOSER IN GENEVA, HE REACHED HIS FIRST ATP WORLD TOUR QUARTERFINAL IN 5-YEARS. HE’D GO ON TO COMPETE IN 4 ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FINALS (WINNING THREE TITLES), AND RETURNED TO THE 2ND-ROUND OF THE US OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2012. IN DAVIS CUP PLAY, HE DELIVERED A 4-SET WIN OVER PORTUGAL’S JOAO SOUSA TO KEEP GERMANY IN THE 2018 WORLD GROUP. INCREDIBLY, HE STARTED THE SEASON RANKED #471 IN THE WORLD, AND BY SEPTEMBER…CRACKED THE ATP’S TOP-80. HIS INSPIRING COMEBACK CONTINUES AS HE STARTS THE NEW YEAR BY MAKING HIS QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN DEBUT…FROM GERMANY, PLEASE WELCOME – CEDRIK MARCEL STEBE

GAEL MONFILS (Wild Card)

AT 31-YEARS-OLD, HE IS ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC SHOW-MEN THE SPORT HAS EVER SEEN. A 3-TIME FINALIST ON THIS COURT, HE ALWAYS PLAYS HIS BEST TENNIS HERE IN DOHA. IN FACT, 4 OF HIS 30 CAREER TOP-10 VICTORIES HAVE COME HERE IN QATAR, INCLUDING A DEFEAT OF WORLD #1 RAFAEL NADAL IN THE 2009 QUARTERFINALS. A 2-TIME GRAND SLAM SEMIFINALIST, HE NOW OWNS 6 ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLES; AND LAST YEAR, EARNED HIS 400TH CAREER MATCH-WIN AT ROLAND GARROS, THEN REACHED HIS 26TH CAREER FINAL – AND FIRST ON GRASS – AT EASTBOURNE. RANKED AS HIGH AS #6 IN THE WORLD, HE’S A 2-TIME OLYMPIAN, WAS A QUARTERFINALIST AT THE SUMMER GAMES IN BOTH BEIJING AND RIO, AND AS A MEMBER OF HIS COUNTRY’S DAVIS CUP TEAM, HELPED LEAD FRANCE TO THE DAVIS CUP FINAL IN 2010 AND 2014. COMPETING HERE IN DOHA FOR THE 8TH TIME, FROM FRANCE, PLEASE WELCOME 3-TIME QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN FINALIST – GAEL MONFILS

MALEK JAZIRI (Wild Card)

AT 33-YEARS-OLD, HE IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TUNISIAN PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT. LAST YEAR, HE CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #47 IN THE WORLD, SHORTLY AFTER REACHING THE 3RD-ROUND OF A MAJOR FOR THE SECOND-TIME AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN. IN MARCH, HE MATCHED HIS CAREER-BEST RUN AT A MASTERS-1000 EVENT, REACHING THE ROUND OF 16 AT INDIAN WELLS – AND FOLLOWED THAT UP WITH A 3RD ROUND FINISH IN MIAMI. A 2-TIME OLYMPIAN, HE IS AN 18-YEAR VETERAN OF THE TUNISIAN DAVIS CUP TEAM; AND LAST SEPTEMBER, CAPTURED HIS 7TH ATP CHALLENGER TOUR SINGLES TITLE IN ISTANBUL. THE GOLD MEDALIST AT THE 2011 “ARAB GAMES DOHA” ON THE THIS VERY COURT, HE IS COMPETING IN HIS 7TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. FROM TUNISIA, PLEASE WELCOME…MALEK JAZIRI

JABOR AL MUTAWA (Wild Card)

THIS 23-YEAR-OLD FROM DOHA HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF THE QATARI DAVIS CUP TEAM SINCE 2009; AND LAST JULY, HELPED QATAR DEFEAT THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, TURKMENISTAN AND MALAYSIA TO REACH THE ASIAN-ZONE GROUP III PROMOTIONAL PLAYOFF WITH SRI LANKA. THEN IN OCTOBER, HE TEAMED WITH MOUSA SHANAN ZAYED TO REACH HIS SECOND CAREER ITF FUTURES DOUBLES SEMIFINAL IN HAMMAMET, TUNISIA. COMPETING IN HIS 6TH QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, HE IS A MAIN-DRAW WILD CARD FOR THE 4TH TIME – FROM QATAR, PLEASE WELCOME JABOR AL MUTAWA