Qatar’s sporting legacy is decades deep, and the international events varied. From football, to horse riding and gymnastics, sports fans have become accustomed to organising their yearly calendars around highly anticipated annual events. The Qatar ExxonMobil Open (ATP Qatar Open) is one tournament that has kept local and regional fans of tennis coming back for more since its inaugural edition in 1993.
World-renowned tennis stars have graced the outdoor hard courts of the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, year on year. Legends like Germany’s Boris Becker, the Czech Republic’s Petr Korda and Morocco’s Younes El Aynaoui have been crowned champions in past editions; but perhaps the name most synonymous with tennis, a 3-time winner of the Open, is ‘The Swiss Maestro’, Roger Federer.
The balletic grace that Federer brings to the sport seems effortless. It conceals the grit, hard work and sacrifice of this single-minded champion. He combines his talent and astonishing record with a famously charismatic personality. So popular is his demeanour, that American player Andy Roddick is quoted as describing Federer’s style as an ‘artistic, poetic, beautiful thing’ – after having lost three Wimbledon finals to the Swiss superstar.