World No.3 Thiem named Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021 top-seed
With less than a month to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021, the rank of superstars on the cards for the annual Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour 250 series tournament has continued to swell with the US Open defending champion and World No.3 Dominic Thiem confirmed as the event's top-seed.
The tournament, to be held from March 8 to 13 at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, the traditional home of tennis in Qatar, will feature three of the world's top-ten players and four former champions.
While second-seed Roger Federer, winner of an eye-popping 20 Grand Slam titles and the only three-time champion in Doha will doubtless be the focus of attention, third-seed and defending champion Andrey Rublev, on the other hand, will also be yearning to add his name to the exclusive list of multiple-time winners of the award-winning tournament.
The three superstars are joined on the list of the top-ten seeds by 2018 champion Gael Monfils, world No. 12 Denis Shapovalov, 2019 champion Roberto Bautista Agut, world No. 15 David Goffin, and 2020 US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta, two-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, a finalist at the 2008 event, and Borna Coric.
Thiem who was unexpectedly stopped in straight sets in the first round of the 2019 tournament by world No. 84 Pierre Hugues-Herbert of France will be hoping to have an impressive outing this time around in his third attempt in Doha.
The 27-year-old Austrian had to withdraw from his semi-final clash against Gael Monfils of France in 2018 due to illness, and he was not available for last year's tournament.
Thiem has been in a splendid form of recent. He became the first male tennis player born in the 1990s to win a major title and the first new Grand Slam champion in the men's singles (other than the Big Four), since Marin Čilić won the 2014 US Open, with his 2020 US Open victory.
Tariq Zainal, QTF Secretary-General, said, "We are delighted to host the top stars once again at the award-winning Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Our commitment to organize and host the best of tennis remained unchanged, and all hands are on the deck to ensure all participants play and enjoy their favorite sport in a very safe and healthy environment at this year's event. We look forward with great eagerness to welcome all participants and fans to the home of tennis next month."
A total of 32 singles players and 16 doubles team will feature in the six-day tournament with 25 players directly in the main draw while three slots are allotted for wild card entrants and four for qualifiers in the singles.
Karim Alami, Qatar ExxonMobil Open Tournament Director, said: “I am very happy to announce a very strong line-up for the oncoming Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021 ATP event, which will take place in Doha at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, from March 8 till Match 13, 2021.
“The line-up includes three top-10 players; the highest-ranked participant at number 3 in the ATP World Ranking, returning to Doha, is the 2020 US Open winner Dominic Thiem. We are extremely proud to welcome back to Doha on his return to the Tour, currently as world number 5, a player who has achieved virtually everything there is to achieve in tennis, Roger Federer. And our next top-10 entry is our defending champion, coming back to Doha after his brilliant win in the 2020 edition of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Andrey Rublev.”
“The line-up is enhanced by six more players currently ranked in the top 20 in the ATP World Ranking, including three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, our 2019 Qatar ExxonMobil Open winner Roberto Bautista Agut, our 2018 winner Gael Monfils, and Denis Shapovalov, David Goffin, and Pablo Carreno Busta,” Alami added.
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