Athletic

Qatar Total Open gets underway

Doha: Former World No. 1 Andy Murray and two-time Doha Champion will take on Taro Daniel in one of the most keenly awaited clash of the 2022 Qatar ExxonMobil Open at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on Tuesday.

Murray, who has slipped back into the top-100 rank on the ATP computer for the first time since 2018, had had an up-and-down season so far.

The three-time Grand Slam winner, who won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009 will be keen to bounce to winning ways and what better way then to do it in Doha.

Murray has displayed flashes of brilliance, but hasn’t been as consistent as he would have liked this season. He lost his first match of the year at the Melbourne Summer Set but made it to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic the following week.

At the Australian Open, the Brit scored a hard fought five-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili, last year’s winner in Doha, in the first round, but lost in straight sets to Daniel in the next round. At the Rotterdam Open, he lost to eventual winner Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round. Nevertheless, he’s back into the top 100 of the ATP rankings.

The Japanese on the other hand began his 2022 season by reaching the second round of the Adelaide International, losing to Tommy Paul. At the Australian Open, he reached the third round of a Gram Slam after defeating Murray along the way.

Meanwhile there were no surprises on day one of the tournament as Kwon Soon Woo along with Alex Molcan and Botic Van De Zandschulp reached the second-round of the $1,176,595 in prize money tournament.

South Korean Woo defeated Christopher Eubanks of United States, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-4 and will meet the winner of the tie between Marton Fucsovics of Hungary and Lloyd Harris of South Africa in the second round.

Molcan of Slovakia also advanced to the next stage after getting better of Christopher O’Connell of Australia to 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 and will face top seed Denis Shapovalov in the next round.

De Zandschulp of Netherlands booked a place in the next round with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano. He will meet Marin Cilic of Croatia, who has got a bye into the second round.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee