Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2023 gets underway

Doha: Three-time Grand Slam winner and twice champion in Doha Andy Murray kicked off his return to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open with a come-from-behind 2-1 (4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) defeat of world No. 71 Lorenzo Sonego on Center Court on Monday.

Murray, the 2008 and 2009 champion, showed some of the qualities that have made him one of the superstars to watch in global tennis as he battled against his resilient opponent in front of appreciative fans in Doha. Murray will next face fourth-seed Alexander Zverev, who got a first round bye, in the next round.

In the other matches, Jason Kubler, the 2023 Australian Open doubles winner, advanced into the second round after Aslan Karatsev, ranked 101, retired with Kubler leading 7-6 (4), 1-0, in the first match of the tournament.

The world No. 74 Kubler, will next be up against second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime. Also joining Kubler in the next round is his compatriot Christopher O’Connell, who accounted for the 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 defeat of former world No. 7 and 2009 Australia Open semifinalist Fernando Verdasco.

Meanwhile, Liam Broady claimed a 2-1 (6-0, 4-6, 7-6(2)) win over Oleksii Krutykh in what was the battle of two qualifiers that lasted almost two and a half hours. The match was the first encounter between the pair.

Also, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the seventh seed, made quick work of his match against Constant Lestienne, winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-3) in what was the fastest completed match of the day.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee