Watch the Qatar ExxonMobil Open matches live as Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal lead the field – stream all the best matches from Doha live to your desktop
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It’s the first week of the ATP World Tour season and the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha is a key battleground as the top players warm up for the Australian Open, with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal seemingly set to collide in the final.
Key matches - Tuesday, January 6
If Djokovic is over his fever, he should have no trouble against his compatriot
Berrer has got 4 games total in 2 previous encounters with Nadal
The two other top-10 players in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open field also start their campaigns on Tuesday 6 January. Third seed Tomas Berdych could have a challenging time of it against the unpredictable Denis Istomin but warmed up well for the tournament by competing at a six-man exhibition in Thailand (which he won), while David Ferrer takes on the big-hitting but erratic Thiemo de Bakker, a qualifier in Doha.
Full order of play - Tuesday, January 6
Novak Djokovic (1) Is Novak Djokovic is over the virus which caused him to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championships? Because if the world no. 1 is, then – on the form that he showed in his one match in Abu Dhabi – it’s very hard to see any player in this quarter stopping him from reaching the semifinals.
Djokovic has committed to playing an ATP World Tour event before the Australian Open for the first time in years, which shows the seriousness of his commitment to winning a fifth title in Melbourne. The world no. 1 opens against compatriot Dusan Lajovic and could face the sporadically dangerous Sergiy Stakhovsky, a serve and volley player, in the second round, with Lukas Rosol – and Mikhail Youzhny, who slumped badly last season – also potential quarterfinal opponents.
Rafael Nadal (2)
Defending champion Rafael Nadal doesn’t look too likely to defend his title based on how rusty he looked at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, where he was trounced by an on-form Murray 2-6, 0-6. But a real tournament, especially one so vital to Nadal’s Australian Open preparations, is a whole different kettle of fish and Nadal, opening against a qualifier before taking on the out-of-form Ivan Dodig, should be able to play himself into form. In Hamburg champion Leo Mayer, he has an opponent who is unlikely to make much of a dent on him in the quarterfinals – although Mayer did turn in an excellent, albeit ultimately soul-crushing, performance against Roger Federer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2014. Andreas Seppi, Joao Souza and wildcard Malek Jaziri, the other three players in Mayer’s section, do not look likely to be a factor and while tougher tests await in the latter stages, it’s difficult to see anyone – except perhaps Dodig, if he finds some form from somewhere – stopping the world no. 3 from getting there.
Tomas Berdych (3)
Tomas Berdych warmed up for this tournament by playing a six-man exhibition in Thailand and has a little bit of match practice under his belt which could stand him in good stead at the Qatar Total Open.
Berdych, now teamed up with Andy Murray’s former coach Dani Vallverdu, must be aware that time is running out to make a big push for a second Grand Slam final or even that elusive title and it will be interesting to see how committed he is in Doha, where he opens against Denis Istomin and has a smooth potential second round against Juan Monaco.
Berdych is due to meet Richard Gasquet, who also warmed up in Thailand and leads their head-to-head, in the quarterfinals.
David Ferrer (4)
2013 French Open finalist David Ferrer lost a bit of ground in 2014, failing to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and ending the year at no. 10. Have the years finally caught up with the iron man of tennis, now 32?
Ferrer doesn’t have the easiest draw in Doha, opening against a qualifier before he meets one of two erratic but dangerous big hitters – compatriot Fernando Verdasco of the fearsome left-handed forehand, or the resurgent journeyman Teymuraz Gabashvili. Still, Ferrer is far more reliable and you would also back him against whoever emerges from the ‘German section’ of the quarter – featuring fifth seed Kohlschreiber, the charismatic Dustin Brown and Jan-Lennard Struff.
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open begins in Doha on Monday 5 January and will be available to watch online.
Watch the Qatar ExxonMobil Open live:
1. Go to bet365
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2. Click 'live streaming' and select 'tennis' from the dropdown menu;
3. Watch ATP Doha live online!