Bengaluru/Doha, November 22: World No.1 Novak Djokovic will open his 2019 season
with the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2019 to held from December 31, 2018, to January 5,
2019, at Doha's Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Djokovic, who is a two-time champion in the ATP World Tour 250 Series tournament in Doha, tops the entry list of star players which includes world No. 8 Dominic Thiem, Nikolov Basilashvili, David Goffin, Karen Khachanov and this year's French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato.
The three-time Major winner Stan Wawrinka, the defending finalist Andrey Rublev and the former world No. 4 Tomas Berdych, who has not been competing since June, are all in the first places of alternates list and will probably make it in the main draw.
Of the 32 singles players and 16 doubles team featuring in the six-day event, all eyes are definitely going to be on Djokovic, the 14 Grand Slam-winner, who won the Wimbledon and US Open this year as well as Masters 1000 events in Shanghai and Cincinnati. However he lost to Alexander Zverev in the ATP World Tour Finals in London last week.
I want to thank my team. This match wasn’t a great day for us, but if we put things into perspective it was an amazing year, an amazing comeback.— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) November 19, 2018
Thank you all #NoleFam. Now off to vacation 🤪🙏👍👏 pic.twitter.com/Umk4LGTBQi
The Serb will be a making a return to the Qatari capital after pulling out of the 2018 event due to injury. The 31-year-old, who will be making it to Doha for the fifth time, defeated former world No.1 Rafael Nadal for his maiden title in 2016 and he followed it up with a three-set win over Britain's Andy Murray in 2017 to claim a back-to-back triumph.
Tournament Director Karim Alami said, "It is our pleasure to once again bring some of the world's best players to Qatar at this year's Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
Fans of the sport are, without any doubt, in for a week-long festival of top-notch tennis with unparalled hospitality that we are well noted for. We look forward to welcoming all the players and the teeming fans to this year's event which promises to be the best so far."
In all, 25 players made the entry list while three slots are allotted for wild card entrants and four for qualifiers.