The Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 draw is out, and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is set to start the first official tournament of 2014 with a first round match against Lukas Rosol. Also drawn in Rafa’s quarter is Latvian Ernests Gulbis. In Rafa’s half are Tomas Berdych, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig and Philipp Kohlschreiber. Rafa could face a potential quarterfinal with Gulbis and a semifinal with Berdych or Kohlschreiber. The other half has Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray in one quarter and Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer in another. Rafa’s potential final opponent could be Murray, Gasquet, or Ferrer .
A little surprise is Rafa entering the doubles draw with his 45-year-old coach Francisco Roig. As to the reason behind the move, we can only speculate and will have to wait to hear from Rafa. Their first round will be played against the team of Lukas Rosol/Pablo Andujar. Rafa and Roig played at the 2009 Coupe Rogers in Montreal (d. Djokovic-Vemic in R1).
Richard Gasquet is the current defending champion. Rafa will make an attempt for his first Doha title in his sixth appearance at the tournament. Let’s try to start the year with a win! Vamos Rafa!