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ATP Doha 2019 Player Field: Novak Djokovic to begin 2019 season in Doha

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 29 Nov 2018
  • World No. 1, Novak Djokovic starts bhis 2019 ATP World Tour season in Doha
  • Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov and David Goffin also scheduled to play
  • Qatar Open is live from Doha from 31 December - 5 January
Two-time champion, Novak Djokovic returns to Doha to begin his 2019 season. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

World No. 1, Novak Djokovic begins his 2019 ATP World Tour season at the Qatar Open in Doha, where he is joined by fellow top-ten star, Dominic Thiem and rising Russian, Karen Khachanov in a quality field.

Djokovic is a two-time champion in Doha, having won consecutive titles in 2016 and 2017, but he missed the tournament in 2018 because of the elbow injury that had kept him out of action since Wimbledon in the previous year.

The 31-year-old would go on to struggle through the first half of the year, following elbow surgery in January, but he launched a remarkable resurgence in the second half of year, rising from outside the top 20 to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking. The Serbian claimed Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and Masters 1000 crowns in Cincinnati and Shanghai. He also finished runner-up at the Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals.

The world No. 1 is clearly the man to beat at the moment, and spearheading the challenge to beat him in Doha is Austria's Dominic Thiem, a semi-finalist last year. The French Open finalist withdrew from his semi-final against Gael Monfils last season due to illness. Thiem is making his third appearance in Doha, having debuted in 2014. 

Thiem plays his best tennis on clay, but he did record some decent results on hard courts last season, winning a second title on the surface in St. Petersburg, and reaching the quarter finals of the US Open.

Rising Russian, Karen Khachanov opens his 2019 season in Doha, returning to the Qatari capital after skipping the tournament in 2018. Khachanov made the quarter finals in his only previous visit in 2017, beating local player, Mubarak Shannan Zayid and Ivo Karlovic before falling to Fernando Verdasco.

A lot has changed between his last visit and his 2019 return, with the 22-year-old now lodged well inside the top 20 following a fine 2018. The world number 11 finished 2018 with a big bang, claiming his first Masters 1000 title at the Paris Masters, where he incidentally beat Thiem and Djokovic in the semifinals and final respectively. Khachanov won titles in Marseille and Moscow, while he reached the semifinals in Toronto, and the fourth round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. He's got his sights set on breaking into the top ten, and a fine week in Doha will definitely help that cause.

Also playing are former top ten stars, David Goffin and Richard Gasquet, while Roberto Bautista-Agut, Fernando Verdasco, Nikoloz Basilashvili and 2018 French Open quarter finalist, Marco Cecchinato are among the notable names scheduled to begin their season in Doha.

Three-time Grand Slam champion, Stan Wawrinka and former Wimbledon finalist, Tomas Berdych are on the alternate list.

Wawrinka and Berdych have both had injury problems over the last year, with Wawrinka spending most parts of 2018 searching for form following multiple knee surgeries in 2017. He finally showed signs of his old self in the latter part of the year, notably reaching the quarter finals of Cincinnati, the third round at the US Open, and the semis in St. Petersburg. Berdych has not played since June.

Doha Entry List (Top 8 Players)

Doha Entry List (Top 8 Players)

Novak Djokovic1Serbia
Dominic Thiem8Austria
Karen Khachanov11Russia
Marco Cecchinato20Italy
Nikoloz Basilashvili21Georgia
David Goffin22Belgium
Roberto Bautista-Agut24Spain
Richard Gasquet26France

ATP Doha Tournament Information

ATP Doha fast facts

ATP DohaQatar ExxonMobil Open
DatesDecember 31 to January 5, 2019
VenueKhalifa International Tennis Complex
LocationQatar, Doha
First Played1993
Draw Size32
CategoryATP 250
Prize Money$1,237,190
Reigning Singles ChampionGael Monfils
Reigning Doubles ChampionOliver Marach/Mate Pavic

Qatar Open is live from Doha from 31 December - 5 January
*Geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify

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ATP Doha 2019 Player Field: Novak Djokovic to begin 2019 season in Doha

World No. 1, Novak Djokovic headlines a quality field at the 2019 Qatar Open in Doha.

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