World number one leads star cast for Qatar Classic

DOHA// World number one Gregory Gaultier of France will lead a star cast at this year’s Qatar Classic, the event organisers said on Monday.

Gaultier, a former champion in Doha, will head the men’s competition at the Oct 29-Nov 3 event to be held at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex.

With the event offering a whopping $165,000 in prize money, players like Egyptian duo Karim Abdel Gawad, Mohamed El Shorbagy, Britain’s Nick Mathew and Ali Farag of Egypt complete the world’s top five set to appear in Doha.

Gawad is the defending champion after he beat compatriot El Shorbagy in the 2016 final.

Marwan El Shorbagy (world number 6), James Willstrop (7), Tarek Momen (8), Fares Dessouky (9) and New Zealand’s Paul Coll (10) are also certain to play in Doha.

Qatar’s Abdulla Mohamed Al Tamimi, ranked 42 in the world, is also part of the main draw.

“This will be a great event as the top players are headed to Doha. We have a long history of hosting this top tier squash event,” Tournament Director Tareq Zainal said.

“This is the first event since the merger of three sports bodies – tennis, squash and badminton. We are looking forward to the event and I can assure you this event will be one to remember,” Zainal said.

The new body formed is Qatar Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation (QTSBF).

The winner in Doha will take home $ 24, 225 while the runners-up gets richer by $ 14,820, the organisers said.

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