DOHA, January 1, 2017
Four qualifiers have completed the main draw of the $1,334,270 Qatar Exxon Mobil Open, held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squah Complex in Doha.
On Sunday afternoon, second seed of the qualifying draw, Radek Stepanek, eased past Enrique López-Pérez from Spain 6-1, 6-4. The Czech veteran didn’t face a break point, converting three of his own to seal victory in only 62 minute. Stepanek will next take on the tournament’s number eight Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.
Alessandro Giannessi will also return to a main draw at ATP World Tour level with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Mirza Basic from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 26-year-old Italian, who captured his first ATP Challenger title in Sczcecin last year, sent down five aces and won 79 per cent of his first service points to set a first round clash with third seed Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic. The last time, Giannessi appeared in an ATP World Tour main draw, was in Düsseldorf 2014 when he lost to Australian Jason Kubler in the opening round.
Vasek Pospisil knocked out the top seed of the qualifiying, Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia, winning 6-2, 6-1. The World number 133 from Canada won 62 per cent of the total points played to prevail in 61 minutes. Next up for Pospisil will be Fernando Verdasco from Spain.
Mohamed Safwat fought past Vincent Millot of France in a topsy-tury 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 encounter. The 26-year-old from Egypt fired 11 aces and capitalized on four of his seven break point opportunities to advance after one hour and 22 minues. Safwat will face Belgian wild card Arthur de Greef in the opening round of the main draw.
The line-up of the 25th Qatar ExxonMobil Open will be led by world number one Andy Murray. All players came to kick off their new ATP World Tour season in the Qatari Capital. Murray, Doha champion in 2008 and 2009, will face Jermey Chardy in the first round.
Photo Gallery Sunday (by Brigitte Urban):