Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Lifts Trophy at Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2012
07 Jan 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012 – Doha, Qatar – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has won the first title of the year on the ATP World Tour by defeating countryman Gael Monfils, 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2012. The 20th anniversary of the event has seen a week of exciting tennis, a few surprises, and a new winner of the men’s singles trophy. The week began with the draw ceremony at the Ritz Carlton where Nikolay Davydenko was present to find out that he would play world No. 3 Roger Federer in the opening round – a repeat of last year’s final. Though Davydenko has played inspired tennis in Doha before, he was the 2010 champion, he was no match for Federer in the first round when the Swiss maestro easily won6-2, 6-2. Federer seemed set to make a steady run straight into the finals but was hindered by a back injury and was forced to retire from the tournament before he was due to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinal. This was only the second time in his career that Federer has been forced to withdraw during an event. Gael Monfils faced stiff competitors on his way to the final having taken out No. 5 seed Viktor Troicki in the quarterfinals before facing No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal in the semis. Monfils showed he was in top form and took out the Spanish champion 6-3, 6-4.
Monfils and Tsonga played in the first all-French final at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, guaranteeing a French winner for the third time in the event’s history (Fabrice Santoro won in 2000 and Nicolas Escude won in 2004). Today’s winner receives $175,380 and 250 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking Points and the finalist receives $92,360 and 150 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking Points.
After Saturday night’s final, Center Court was lit up for the finals ceremony with a stunning light show. As this has been a week of celebrating the 20th anniversary of men’s professional tennis in Doha, the tournament brought back former winners for activities throughout the week. On Saturday night, this parade of champions was brought out to the court and included: Stefan Edberg, Younes El Aynaoui, Nicolas Escude, Stefan Koubek, Fabrice Santoro and Roger Federer.
On Friday night, Slovakia’s Filip Polasek and the Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol defeated Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in the doubles final. Polasek and Rosol were playing together for the first time in an ATP World Tour event. They lost only one set this week on their road to the title. It was the eighth career ATP World Tour doubles title for Polasek and the first for Rosol.
About Qatar Tennis Federation
The overall mission of the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) is to provide young Qatari tennis players with the best resources and opportunities available to reach their maximum potential and compete in renowned tennis tournaments locally, regionally and internationally. In addition the Qatar Tennis Federation is fully committed to elevate the level of tennis in the country and to turn tennis into the preferred sport among the community of Qatar.