Andrey Rublev, the top-ranked player in the upcoming Qatar ExxonMobil Open, is hoping to repeat his 2018 heroics in Doha as he begins his campaign to win the tournament today. Rublev, who is currently ranked fourth in the world, is considered the favorite to win, with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev being his main challengers for the title. All four players will start from the Round of 16 stage after receiving first-round byes. The defending champion, Roberto Bautista Agut, will also compete for his third title in the Qatari capital.
Rublev, who recently suffered a straight-set loss to Alex de Minaur in the Round of 32 at the Rotterdam Tournament, will play his opening match later this week against either Tallon Griekspoor or Quentin Halys. The Russian has fond memories of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, having reached his first tour-level hard-court final in 2018 before winning the prestigious Golden Falcon trophy two years later. The tournament was named the best in the world at the ATP Awards last year.