Australian Open men’s qualifiers successfully conclude in Doha
January 13 2021 11:24 PM
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in action during the Australian Open qualifying tournament at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha. (Tennis Australia)

By Sports Reporter/Doha

After four days of exciting Australian Open qualifying action at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, 16 entrants emerged yesterday for the year’s first Grand Slam in Melbourne.
A total of 128 players, participated in the event held outside of Australia for the first time in the tournament’s 116-year history.
In the end, 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, Elias Ymer of Sweden, Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky and Belgium’s Kimmer Coppejans were among those who made the Melbourne cut.
Others on the list are 174-ranked Michael Mmoh of the US, Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac, Spain’s Mario Vilella Martinez, former world No. 12 Viktor Troicki of Serbia, Roman Safiullin of Russia, and Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen.
USA’s Maxime Cressy, Aslan Karatsev of Russia, Botic Van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands, France’s Quentin Halys, Portuguese Frederico Ferreira Silva and Bernard Tomic of Australia are also going to be making an appearance in Australia.
Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director, said, “There’s no question the Qatar Tennis Federation are world champions on how they’ve managed this event for us. Very quickly we had to turn around and put an event on with more than 120 players plus their entourage, that’s a massive draw size, and there hasn’t been a draw size that big in Doha before, so that’s significant they were able to do it so well at short notice.”
He added, “We are very fortunate Qatar are handling the pandemic so well, and the testing is vigilant and ongoing to ensure everyone is kept safe. The Qatar Tennis Federation has been magnificent in partnering with us, our own Andre Sa, a former top player has done a magnificent job being a tournament director for the first time, alongside Karim and his team on delivering a safe and successful event.”
Tiley noted that when the organisers were looking for cities around the world for the Australian Open qualifiers, right away Doha was on top of that list. “So we made the phone call, and the arrangement was made straight away,” he said.
Karim Alami, Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) Board Member, said, “We are greatly delighted with the success of this tournament. It was a great privilege for us to host the first-ever Australian Open qualifiers to be held outside Australia in the tournament over a century history. We thank the Australian Open organisers and the ATP for the confidence they had in us in offering us this opportunity. I believe all the participants have had a great time in Qatar and we doubtlessly look forward to welcoming them back in the nearest future.”
Alcaraz, seeded 21, secured his debut appearance at the first Grand Slam of the year on the back of his straight-sets 6-2, 6-3 upset of No. 2-seed and world No. 111 Hugo Dellien of Bolivia. It was a fitting closing for the Spaniard, who has been one of the major revelations of the past year, as he managed to drop just a single set at the tournament – his first-round match against Slovakia’s Filip Horansky.
World No. 182 Ferreira Silva turned out to be a giant slayer as he ended the hopes of tournament top-seed Gregoire Barrere of France, winning the last match of the tournament 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 43 minutes on Court A. 
Former world No. 17 Tomic, on the other hand, secured his 11th Australian Open appearance with a gruelling 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7) victory over compatriot and wildcard entrant John-Patrick Smith.
No. 3 seed Karatsev secured his ticket after defeating Alexandre Muller of France 6-2, 6-1 while Stakhovsky overcame Australia’s wild-card entrant Dane Sweeny in a decider, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
World No. 204 Ymer proved too much of a hurdle for fifth-seed Taro Daniel of Japan to cross as the Swedish won in straight-sets 6-1, 6-2. Halys, on the other hand, stopped the progress of Dutch Robin Haase with his 6-3, 6-4 win.

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