DOHA, December 24, 2020 (QTF Press Release)
In a further nod to Qatar’s globally acknowledged prowess in hosting major sporting events, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation (QTSBF) recently confirmed Doha as the host of the qualifying matches of the 2021 Australian Open.
The qualifying rounds, which will be held from January 10 to 13 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, will feature 128 professional players out of which 16 will advance into the main rounds of the season-opening Grand Slam scheduled for February 8-21 in Melbourne, three weeks later than usual.
The development comes as a result of the health and safety measures been put in place due to the current COVID 19 global pandemic.
The event in Doha will give qualifiers time to travel to Australia and complete two weeks of quarantine before the warm-up events start on January 31, the ATP said.
The confirmation from ATP follows weeks of speculation about the future of next year’s event.
While the ATP only runs the men’s side of professional tennis, it has to be in sync with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) around the four majors played every year.
Qatar Tennis Federation is leaving no stone unturned in their bid to ensure that the qualifying rounds are held under the strictest health and safety condition. All the members of the organizing committee and other supporting staff and volunteers will be undergoing a PCR test to ensure the safety of all the participants.
Tournament Director and QTF Board Member, Karim Alami, said, “It’s our pleasure to have the opportunity of hosting the qualifying rounds of the 2021 Australian Open, and we are glad to welcome all the participating players to Doha. We promise them an exceptional experience which will live up to Qatar’s globally recognized reputation as a major destination for world sports.
“Selecting Doha to host the 2021 Australian Open qualifiers due to coronavirus pandemic reflects the global trust in Qatar’s abilities, and we are not going to leave any stoned unturned in organizing a world-class event,” he added.
Alami also stressed that the federation would work alongside with the health authorities to ensure the safety of the players and to organize a risk-free event.