DOHA, December 29, 2020 (QTF Press Release)
Rising stars and former Australian Open boys’ singles champions Sebastian Korda (AO 2018) and Lorenzo Musetti (AO 2019) are headlining a thrilling entry list of talents that will be on display at the Australian Open 2021 men’s qualifiers in Doha.
The tournament, to be held from Sunday 10 to Wednesday 13 January at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, will feature a total of 128 players who will be competing for sixteen qualifying spots in the Australian Open main draw to be held in Melbourne from February 8 to 21.
World No.118-ranked Korda, a 20-year-old American who made the fourth round at Roland Garros as a qualifier earlier this year, is the son of AO 1998 champion Petr Korda.
World No.128-ranked Musetti, aged 18, also enjoyed a breakout 2020 season, winning his maiden ATP Challenger title and scoring his first top-20 victory against Stan Wawrinka in Rome.
Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, a 17-year-old ranked No.141 who won three ATP Challenger titles in 2020 and was voted the ATP Tour’s Newcomer of the Year, and France’s Hugo Gaston, a 20-year-old who made the Roland Garros fourth round in 2020, are also on the list of players to watch.
More familiar names in the draw include former world No.5 Tommy Robredo, an Australian Open 2007 quarterfinalist, and 36-year-old Italian Andreas Seppi, a former world No.18 who advanced to the Australian Open fourth round on four occasions and boasts wins over Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios at Melbourne Park.
Former world No.10 Ernests Gulbis, former world No.12 Viktor Troicki and big-serving former world No.14 Ivo Karlovic will also rely on their experience at the top of the game to progress to the main draw. Karlovic, aged 41 and the tallest top-20 player in history, advanced to the second round at AO 2020, making him the AO’s oldest singles match winner since Australia’s Ken Rosewall in 1978.
Australians Alex Bolt (SA), Bernard Tomic (Qld), Andrew Harris (Vic), Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA) and Aleksandar Vukic (NSW) are also on the entry list.
“We are grateful to our friends in Qatar for hosting the Australian Open 2021 men’s qualifying event in Doha,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
He also said: “Staging the AO qualifying event, and providing players with the opportunity to both earn prize money and win the chance to play Grand Slam tennis during this difficult time has been a key objective in all our planning.“
“I’d particularly like to thank Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Karim Alami and Qatar Tennis Federation who have led the charge to help us stage this event due to the current travel restrictions into Australia,” he added.
Players will need to win three qualifying matches to qualify for the main draw and all matches are best of three sets. Following the event the 16 qualifiers will be joined by a further six alternate players and travel to Australia to undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine with other main draw players.
Karim Alami QTF Board Member of Qatar Tennis Federation, said, “We are very delighted to host the 2021 Australian Open qualifying matches – the first time it is being held outside its traditional home in Melbourne. Selecting Doha as hosts is further proof of the confidence the tennis family have in us as wonderful hosts, and we are grateful for the opportunity. All the participants are assured of a very safe tournament and our top-notch hospitality as usual. We look forward to welcoming everybody to Doha.”
The qualifying draw will take place at 3:00 pm local time (GMT+3) on Saturday 9 January and will be streamed live on all QTF and AO social media accounts as well