December 9, 2013 – Doha, Qatar – The Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 celebrates professional tennis in Doha with the presence of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils and a host of other top players. The event has always been a big hit with players, fans and sponsors… and the media. An event of this caliber, the highest prize-money tournament on the ATP World Tour 250 Series of events, commands the recognition of top media coverage both locally and internationally.
Live matches can be seen here in Doha on Al Jazeera Sports channels – both in English and in Arabic. Various Al Jazeera divisions will be covering the tournament to give viewers a total experience of the tennis – both on court and behind the scenes. Last year’s international television broadcast reached over 150 million homes worldwide.
Doha has always been a special place for the written press. Local media have supported the event since its inauguration in 1993 and they have been witness to the amazing matches, players, and moments that have shaped the tournament through its 22-year history. Foreign media delegates are invited by the Qatar Tennis Federation to enjoy the hospitality the event has to offer and broadcast the happenings of the tournament to media outlets worldwide. This year will see journalists from the US, UK, Spain, France, Australia, Kuwait, Tunisia, and the UAE onsite to cover the tournament.
The Media Center is the home for all these journalists – both written and broadcast – who spend their days onsite covering all the matches and interviewing players, fans, and tournament officials to get the full scope of the event. With a reception desk, dining area and lounge to relax in, the media are welcomed to a friendly atmosphere. There are work stations equipped with internet access, computer facilities, and lockers. There are also offices for media representatives from the Qatar Tennis Federation, ExxonMobil and the ATP.
Players are brought to the press conference room, with a seating capacity of 60, to do their post-match interviews. Transcripts of these press conferences are provided by ASAP Sports – a US-based company that leads the field in sports transcripts. They have a presence at every major sporting event around the world. Linda Christensen, a transcriber with the company, returns to Doha, “I was privileged to have worked both men’s and women’s tournaments in Doha since 2011. Such a beautiful city, and I can’t wait to return in 2014!” A separate interview room is set up for broadcasters to do television interviews with players if they are requested.
Media is certainly not confined to the Media Center. Their presence is seen and heard throughout the venue. Andy Taylor, the Master of Ceremonies for the event, spends his days on Center Court. He interviews players before they walk on to the court and announces them to the crowd. He also interviews match winners before they leave the court.
The commentary booths atop the stadium are where broadcasters set up their teams for the play-by-play announcing of matches. This year, the international commentary is provided by former players Jason Goodall, and Barry Cowan rom Great Britain, and Robbie Koenig, from South Africa. Their analysis of the action in Doha can be heard worldwide. Adel Al Shatti, Mohamad Afify and Amine Rhissassi provide the commentary for Al Jazeera Sport in Arabic.
Al Jazeera Sport has studio spaces on the grounds of the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. These studios are where presenters and guests analyze and discuss the happenings of the day and showcase player highlights. Reporters are also seen across the grounds as they film pieces about the event, players, fans, sponsors, and everything the tournament offers.
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 will be seen and read about throughout Qatar and the world thanks to the tireless media who cover the event from start to finish. Tickets are still available for those who can watch the action in person by going to www.qatartennis.org or purchasing tickets at Villaggio, Lagoona, City Center, Landmark or the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.