DOHA, December 31, 2017
The draw for the 2018 Qatar ExxonMobil Open was made on Saturday with Florian Mayer of Germany, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia attending the ceremony.
The top seed at the ATP 250 event will be Austria’s Dominic Thiem. The 24-year-old will open his title bid against Evgeny Donskoy of Russia. It will be the pair’s first tour meeting. Second favourite Pablo Carreno Busta will take on Croatia’s Borna Coric. The World No. 10 from Spain won the only previous encounter between the two in Auckland 2015.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic will start against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany and the Doha’s No. 4, Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, faces Guido Pella from Argentina.
Tournament Director Karim Alami said, “It is my pleasure to welcome everyone, especially the players to this year’s tournament. In line with our tradition, the next few days will no doubt showcase the best of tennis and I’m happy that the quality of this year’s tournament is top-notch as ever. I wish all the players the best of luck.”
Lopez, whose opponent in the first round is fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, said, “It’s great to be here again and compete and challenge and I hope that I can have another good year like 2017. I’ve played here and have some good wins and some tough losses but all in all been good.
“It’s the first tournament of the year and tough to say who’d excel. Everybody is coming from Christmas and even though they all are training hard, January is always a surprise season and especially in this tournament,” he added.