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Qatar Total Open 2013 Tournament History
07 Feb 2013

February 7, 2013 - DOHA, Qatar - The Qatar Total Open 2013, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, celebrates over a decade of women’s tennis in Doha. The event was not player in 2009 and 2010, during which the WTA and Qatar Tennis Federation staged the WTA Year-Ending Championships in Doha for three years in a row (2008-2010). The event has seen internationally renowned champions lift the coveted trophy over the years at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. This year’s event is a WTA Premier 5, with prize money totaling $2,369,000 and 56-direct entry players in the singles draw. With all of the Top 10 players participating, this is a field of athletes of the highest caliber.

This year sees the world’s best come to Doha. World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, looks to defend her title against a group of women that include multi-Grand Slam champions, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Sam Stosur, Petra Kvitova, and Ana Ivanovic.

The very first event was played in 2001 with the game’s top players taking advantage of playing in Doha for the premier tournament. Martina Hingis was ranked No. 1 and she came to Doha to inaugurate the event. She faced a tough draw that included Mary Pierce and Sandrine Testud of France, Tunisia’s Selima Sfar, and Austria’s Barbara Schett. Hingis faced No. 3 seed Testud in the final and had no problem dismantling the Frenchwoman 6-3, 6-2 (and never losing a set during the entire tournament) to win the first ever Qatar Ladies Open title. Testud partnered with Italian Roberta Vinci to claim the first ladies doubles title in Doha that year.

American superstar Monica Seles was the No. 1 seed at the 2002 event. If was her first time playing in the desert and after a first round bye, she eased her way through to the semifinals where she met Australian Alicia Molik. Molik put up quite a fight and took Seles to the edge, but the American won the match 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in order to meet Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn in the finals. Tanasugarn was the tournament’s 4th seed and was a force to be reckoned with but Seles prevailed and won the match 7-6(6), 6-3. Her title in Doha would prove to be Seles’ last career professional title.

It was a Russian invasion in Doha for the next four years. Anastasia Myskina kicked things off by winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. She defeated fellow Russian Elena Likhovtseva in 2003 and beat another Russian in Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2004. 2004 saw Kuznetsova partner with fellow Russian Likhovtseva to lift the doubles trophy when they defeated Janette Husarova of Slovakia and Conchita Martinez of Spain.

Russian dominance continued in 2005 when glamour girl Maria Sharapova came to town. It was her first trip to Doha and she made the most of it. Having not dropped a set on her way to the final against Australian Alicia Molik, Sharapova did not have as easy a time in her last match. Molik won the first set but Sharapova found her form and quickly went on to win the next two sets and the match, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Molik did not go home empty-handed though, she partnered with Italian Francesca Schiavone to defeat the formidable team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in order to win the doubles trophy.

Nadia Petrova continued the Russian tradition in 2006. In her first appearance in Doha, she managed to reach the final without dropping a set. Along the way she defeated Eleni Daniilidou, Li Na and Ai Sugiyama. She faced No. 1 seed and then-world No. 2 Amelia Mauresmo of France in the final. Petrova’s Doha debut culminated with a straight-set win over Mauresmo, 6-3, 7-5.

The Russian streak came to an end in 2007. Ranked No. 2 in the world and the tournament’s top seed, Justine Henin of Belgium had previously played in the desert in 2004 (where she lost to Kuznetsova in the semifinals). But 2007 would be a different result for her. She came upon Kuznetsova once again, this time in the final. Seeded No. 2, Kuznetsova hoped to continue the Russian dominance but Henin had other plans and won the title by defeating Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2. In doubles, Martina Hingis partner with Maria Kirilenko to win the trophy over Agnes Szavay and Vladimira Uhlirova.

Sharapova returned to Doha in 2008 and in her second appearance, she won her second Doha title. She faced fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final. Sharapova easily won the first set but lost her form in the second set which her countrywoman took full advantage of and forced the match into a deciding third set. Sharapova regained her tactics and won the title 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

The tournament took a two-year hiatus after 2008 in order to stage the WTA Year-Ending Championships. After three consecutive year-end finals, the WTA event returned to Doha last February and 2008 finalist Vera Zvonareva was looking to better her showing. After a bye in the first round, she easily defeated Dominika Cibulkova in the second round. Then she faced stiff competition the quarterfinals (against Daniela Hantuchova) and semifinals (against Jelena Jankovic) – both players forced Zvonareva to win the matches in three sets. She then faced world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She was ready to win the title and didn’t drop a set in her 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Wozniacki. Zvonareva took home the trophy and $111,000 in prize money.

In 2012, newly crowned Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka, came to Doha to prove her status as the new world No. 1. She faced a field of players that included Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and finalist Sam Stosur. Azarenka fought her way through the draw to face the Australian Stosur and was able to claim her first Doha title.

Beyond quality tennis by the games’ greatest players, the Qatar Total Open 2013 also showcases entertainment for the entire family with its Public and VIP Villages, Kids Zone, and Traditional Souq. Players, sponsors and fans have grown accustomed to the warmth and accessibility the event offers. The Qatar Total Open 2013 highlights the growth of the sport as it continues to bring the world’s greatest tennis players to Doha.

Tickets to the Qatar Total Open 2013 are available on the QTF website and at Lagoona, City Center, Landmark, and the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. For more information about the tournament and tickets, visit http://www.qatartennis.org. - The Qatar Total Open 2013, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, celebrates over a decade of women’s tennis in Doha. The event was not player in 2009 and 2010, during which the WTA and Qatar Tennis Federation staged the WTA Year-Ending Championships in Doha for three years in a row (2008-2010). The event has seen internationally renowned champions lift the coveted trophy over the years at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. This year’s event is a WTA Premier 5, with prize money totaling $2,369,000 and 56-direct entry players in the singles draw. With all of the Top 10 players participating, this is a field of athletes of the highest caliber.

This year sees the world’s best come to Doha. World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, looks to defend her title against a group of women that include multi-Grand Slam champions, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Sam Stosur, Petra Kvitova, and Ana Ivanovic.

The very first event was played in 2001 with the game’s top players taking advantage of playing in Doha for the premier tournament. Martina Hingis was ranked No. 1 and she came to Doha to inaugurate the event. She faced a tough draw that included Mary Pierce and Sandrine Testud of France, Tunisia’s Selima Sfar, and Austria’s Barbara Schett. Hingis faced No. 3 seed Testud in the final and had no problem dismantling the Frenchwoman 6-3, 6-2 (and never losing a set during the entire tournament) to win the first ever Qatar Ladies Open title. Testud partnered with Italian Roberta Vinci to claim the first ladies doubles title in Doha that year.

American superstar Monica Seles was the No. 1 seed at the 2002 event. If was her first time playing in the desert and after a first round bye, she eased her way through to the semifinals where she met Australian Alicia Molik. Molik put up quite a fight and took Seles to the edge, but the American won the match 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in order to meet Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn in the finals. Tanasugarn was the tournament’s 4th seed and was a force to be reckoned with but Seles prevailed and won the match 7-6(6), 6-3. Her title in Doha would prove to be Seles’ last career professional title.

It was a Russian invasion in Doha for the next four years. Anastasia Myskina kicked things off by winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. She defeated fellow Russian Elena Likhovtseva in 2003 and beat another Russian in Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2004. 2004 saw Kuznetsova partner with fellow Russian Likhovtseva to lift the doubles trophy when they defeated Janette Husarova of Slovakia and Conchita Martinez of Spain.

Russian dominance continued in 2005 when glamour girl Maria Sharapova came to town. It was her first trip to Doha and she made the most of it. Having not dropped a set on her way to the final against Australian Alicia Molik, Sharapova did not have as easy a time in her last match. Molik won the first set but Sharapova found her form and quickly went on to win the next two sets and the match, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Molik did not go home empty-handed though, she partnered with Italian Francesca Schiavone to defeat the formidable team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in order to win the doubles trophy.

Nadia Petrova continued the Russian tradition in 2006. In her first appearance in Doha, she managed to reach the final without dropping a set. Along the way she defeated Eleni Daniilidou, Li Na and Ai Sugiyama. She faced No. 1 seed and then-world No. 2 Amelia Mauresmo of France in the final. Petrova’s Doha debut culminated with a straight-set win over Mauresmo, 6-3, 7-5.

The Russian streak came to an end in 2007. Ranked No. 2 in the world and the tournament’s top seed, Justine Henin of Belgium had previously played in the desert in 2004 (where she lost to Kuznetsova in the semifinals). But 2007 would be a different result for her. She came upon Kuznetsova once again, this time in the final. Seeded No. 2, Kuznetsova hoped to continue the Russian dominance but Henin had other plans and won the title by defeating Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2. In doubles, Martina Hingis partner with Maria Kirilenko to win the trophy over Agnes Szavay and Vladimira Uhlirova.

Sharapova returned to Doha in 2008 and in her second appearance, she won her second Doha title. She faced fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final. Sharapova easily won the first set but lost her form in the second set which her countrywoman took full advantage of and forced the match into a deciding third set. Sharapova regained her tactics and won the title 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

The tournament took a two-year hiatus after 2008 in order to stage the WTA Year-Ending Championships. After three consecutive year-end finals, the WTA event returned to Doha last February and 2008 finalist Vera Zvonareva was looking to better her showing. After a bye in the first round, she easily defeated Dominika Cibulkova in the second round. Then she faced stiff competition the quarterfinals (against Daniela Hantuchova) and semifinals (against Jelena Jankovic) – both players forced Zvonareva to win the matches in three sets. She then faced world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She was ready to win the title and didn’t drop a set in her 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Wozniacki. Zvonareva took home the trophy and $111,000 in prize money.

In 2012, newly crowned Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka, came to Doha to prove her status as the new world No. 1. She faced a field of players that included Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and finalist Sam Stosur. Azarenka fought her way through the draw to face the Australian Stosur and was able to claim her first Doha title.

Beyond quality tennis by the games’ greatest players, the Qatar Total Open 2013 also showcases entertainment for the entire family with its Public and VIP Villages, Kids Zone, and Traditional Souq. Players, sponsors and fans have grown accustomed to the warmth and accessibility the event offers. The Qatar Total Open 2013 highlights the growth of the sport as it continues to bring the world’s greatest tennis players to Doha.

Tickets to the Qatar Total Open 2013 are available on the QTF website and at Lagoona, City Center, Landmark, and the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. For more information about the tournament and tickets, visit http://www.qatartennis.org.