The popularity of tennis is growing in Qatar, so much that the sport now ranks amongst Qatar's favourite sports. Despite humble beginnings in 1984, the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) now hosts several international competitions, including two annual tournaments associated with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). The main objective of the QTF is that tennis will soon become the preferred sport of Qatar.
The largest tournament featured in Qatar is the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open, which is played in Doha annually and attracts many top-tier tennis professionals. For example, in 2011, the tournament was chosen as the starting location of the prestigious ATP World Tour. One highlight of the 2011 tournament was a grudge match played between tennis professionals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on a special floating tennis court in the Arabian Gulf, just off the coast of Doha. Federer went on to win the whole tournament and its US$1.1 million prize.
If you are living in the Doha area and are not a professional tennis player, there are still many opportunities to play. Many amateur tennis players flock to the Khalifa Tennis Centre of Doha, where the memberships are cheap and there are always people to play with. Many residential compounds also feature tennis courts. Tennis is a terrific sport to meet and interact with others, and even if you are terrible at it, you will get nothing but love. (And once you've played tennis, you'll understand that pun!)
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