Doha, 10 January 2021 - Preparations are in top gear to host the 128 players and other officials who will be converging in Qatar for the 2021 Australian Open qualifiers to be held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha from January 10 to 13.
Ahead of the event, being held outside of Australia for the first time in its 116 years history, the venue has started to wear a new look and look splendidly radiant after completing the branding. The necessary makeovers are done in readiness for the first Grand Slam of the year's qualifying rounds.
A total of sixteen qualifying slots for the main event to be held from February 8 to 21 in Melbourne are up for grabs in Doha. The event's star cast includes rising stars and former Australian Open boys' singles champion Sebastian Korda (AO 2018) and Lorenzo Musetti (AO 2019).
Other players to look out for include 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, as well as France's Hugo Gaston, a 20-year-old who made the Roland Garros fourth round in 2020, are also on the list of players to watch.
The ticket-free tournament is open to all, and spectators will be allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis as only 30 percent stadium capacity is allowed in line with the essential health protocols and guidelines occasioned by the prevailing global COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament is scheduled to be overseen by 64 line umpires, 18 chair umpires and five management officials drawn from across the world.
Meanwhile, the Local Organising Committee is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to ensure that the tournament is held under the strictest health and safety condition. To this end, all the members of the organizing committee, staff, and volunteers had undergone a PCR test to ensure all the participants' safety. Another round of PCR test is also scheduled for everyone involved in the tournament on January 9.
Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) Board Member, Karim Alami, said, "The qualifiers of the 2021 Australian Open is just a few days away, and we are impressed with the level of our preparations and readiness for this tournament. Qatar's reputation as a history-maker, especially in sports, is well-known globally, and we are happy that we are about to add to the long list of our sporting achievements with this event. All the participants are assured of a safe, conducive and well-organized environment at this event, and we look forward to welcoming everyone."
The qualifying draw took Saturday, January 9 and will be streamed live on all QTF and AO social media accounts as well.