Qatar’s A Al Emadi in action during the qualifying round.
Four Qatari pairs will enter the fray when the main round of the Ooredoo Qatar Major 2023, the first of the global eight-leg series, kicks off at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, today.
Ali Al Saygh and Rayyan Al Jufairi will take on Spaniards Francisco Guerrero and Jesus Moya Sos in the third match at Grandstand 4 today.
Apart from them, wildcard entrants Abdulla Al Hijji/Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari, Mohammed Abdulla/Khalid Saadon Al Kuwari and Jabor Al Mutawa/Mohammed Al Khanji will also begin their campaigns against strong opponents at this season’s inaugural Premier Padel tournament,.
Abdulla and Khalid will take on Spanish pair Iván Ramirez Del Campo/Pablo Cardona at Grandstand 3 while the pair of Al Mutawa/ Al Khanji will meet Eduardo Alonso/Juanlu Esbri, also from Spain.
Alhijji and Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari take on Spain’s Javier Ruiz Gonzalez/Gonzalo Rubio for a place in the Round of 32 at Grandstand 4.
Most of the Qatari players were part of the team which won the gold medal at the 3rd GCC Games in Kuwait last year.
Qatar’s Abdulaziz Saadon Alkuwari in action.
Despite being some of the best in the region, all four of the teams are set for trough opponents in their Spanish counterparts, but the home event provides them with a great opportunity against some of the best in the world.
“We have given wildcards for four of our teams. They however you know that level of tournament is very strong and difficult because all the top players in the world participate in this tournament. The ranking of our players have not yet reached this level as this is a tournament of the highest category, a Major.
However, this allows them to get more points in premier padel. And hopefully in future they will participate without wildcards. So I wish all the best for our team,” Tariq Zainal, Secretary-General of the Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation and Tournament Director said.
Zainal hopes Qatari teams can advance, but said that he doesn’t want to put any pressure on them.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on them, but hopefully they will reach the second round. I know that they play against top players in this tournament.
Hopefully we can see one of them to be in Round two,” Zainal said.
“I believe that we are watching the next generation of players in action. These players love a good battle. We will be watching interesting games this week,” Zainal said.
“Padel has become part of our sports culture. The rapid increase in the popularity of the sport in Qatar is amazing. We have some of the finest facilities for the sport in the region. I believe Qatar is the future for padel in this region and we will do our best to promote this sport. We will also do our best to have a strong player base that serves the national teams in the future. We want to see our players in the world top-10,” Zainal said.
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